About the Saint-Sixtus Abbey
The Saint-Sixtus Abbey forms part of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Ordo Cisterciensis Strictioris Observantiae (O.C.S.O.)). The monks lead a life of seclusion focused on rest and contemplation within the abbey. They divide their time between prayer, contemplation, and work. According to the Rule of Saint Benedict the monasteries must be self-sufficient and independent. That is why the monks of Saint-Sixtus Abbey also develop an economic activity: brewing beer.
Although the sale of Trappist Westvleteren is the only source of income for the monks, production and profit maximisation are not their main goals. The proceeds are used to pay for the livelihood of the monks, the maintenance of the monastery, the remuneration of the people who are working in the abbey, and the necessary brewery investments. The remainder is spent on social projects and charity.
The annual production is around 7,000 hectolitres, spread over some 40 brewing days per year. In short, the monks of the Saint-Sixtus Abbey brew to live. They do not live to brew.
Currently 19 monks are living at the abbey. They also employ nine laic workers, six of whom work under the supervision of the monks in the brewery.
For more information regarding the community of the Saint-Sixtus Abbey: www.sintsixtus.be.