A fine job in the Philadelphia City Paper of explaining why bars raised the price of Chimay White.
Blame the weak dollar, among other things.
Although the story is very well done, it contains one line that gets repeated too often: “the Trappist monks who oversee Chimay do not produce and sell beer for profit.” Yes, they do. But they don’t spend the profits on wine, women and song. These figures are from Brew Like a Monk so aren’t totally up to date, but you’ll get the point:
Including the brewery, bottling plant, and marketing, eighty-two people work for Bières de Chimay. Chimay began producing cheese in 1876, bathing the rind of one in beer, and now sells Chimay cheeses in many countries. Overall, Chimay employs more than one hundred and fifty people, making it one of the biggest employers in one of Belgium’s poorest regions. A part of the profits from brewing and cheese production go to help or build other Cistercian monasteries, with the rest dedicated to various projects in the area of Chimay.
If the monks weren’t turning a profit then there wouldn’t be much point in brewing.