Rochefort Trappist under threat?

The monks of Rochefort have a battle on their hands. The producers of the world famous Rochefort Trappist beer are up in arms now that the authorities have issued a licence that will allow a stone quarry to carry out tests in the vicinity of the abbey.

The monks claim that the expansion of quarrying will endanger their coveted brew. Until now the quarry and the brewers have lived in harmony. Hard work extracting blue stone results in a dry throat and this can best be treated with some local brew.

Since 1797 the abbey Notre Dame de Saint-Rémy has been running the Tridaine source on a mountainside that provides water for the people of the town as well as a major ingredient for the Trappist beer. The Lhoist company now wants to expand its local quarry making it deeper than the monks' source of water. The friars are now worried that their source could run dry as water levels plummet. The quarry is prepared to construct a pump system to feed the monks' source, but the friars are worried that the water could be polluted and that the composition of the water could be changed altering the taste of the beer. The quarry points to the 480 jobs that the expansion will provide until 2046.

The monks now intend to raise objections against a new licence that allows the quarry to carry out tests. They will argue that the water quality could be endangered.