The Norbertine Abbey of Tongerlo has a history dating back to 1133, and records show that brewing at the abbey commenced not long after. As is the story for so many of Europe’s abbeys and monasteries, over the centuries various conflicts led to destruction and subsequent rebuilding but over that time records show that beer was brewed at the site.
However the German occupation of WWI saw the copper kettles scrapped for munitions, and at that point the brewing history of Tongerlo was at an end. In 1989, Brouwerij Haacht started brewing with the Tongerlo label again. Therefore we have ourselves another of Belgium’s many and varied Abbey Ales.
The name ‘Prior’ refers to the order of the monks, where the top monk is known as the ‘Superior’ or Prior. So this moniker is given to the strongest (and best?) of the Tongerlo beers.
It pours a clear golden colour, with an aroma of Belgian yeast, some yellow fruits and a floral hop note. There is a medium sweetness up front with peach, melon and some citrus. The hops join in mid-palate offering a floral and spicy character that flows through into the lingering bitter finish.