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It was in 1848 that Westmalle strode firmly onto its path to beer greatness, when a genuine brewer joined the ranks: Ignatius van Ham. The fathers now started to sell their beer, following the example set by fellow Trappists of Chimay. The brewing of refectory beer for the monks’ own use commenced in 1856. In those days, the beer came from wooden barrels stored in the cellars, and was poured into jugs to be served in the refectory. But the wily monks of Westmalle were already selling their stalwart brews at the gates of the abbey.