Austin Beer Bar is First to Earn La Trappe ‘Governorship’ in the U.S.

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Mort Subite, a Belgian-focused beer bar in Austin, Texas, has been awarded the first U.S. Governorship by Trappist Brewery Koningshoeven (better known as La Trappe), one of the world’s 12 Trappist breweries.

La Trappe, a Dutch Trappist brewery founded in 1884 in Berkel-Enschot, Netherlands, selected Mort Subite after visiting and inspecting the bar to ensure it met a variety of special standards. It will be the first of four to receive La Trappe Governorship distinction in the U.S. There are currently around 122 in Europe.

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According to Artisanal Imports, an Austin-based importer and merchant of La Trappe and other European beers, the Governorship program began in 2016 and was established to recognize the bars and restaurants throughout Europe that have “made extraordinary efforts to sell, support, and promote La Trappe products and other Trappist beers.” After a successful run in Europe, the brewery has decided to extend its program stateside, and has selected Mort Subite as its first contender.

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“Being invited into the Governorship program is an exciting evolution for Mort Subite,” said Mort Subite co-owner James Jackson Leach. “We are a Belgian beer bar dedicated to authenticity, and that means honoring Trappist beer. There’s a story when you walk in here. There’s a community of people that know and love this culture. Being invited into the program shows us that people notice and appreciate how dedicated we are here, locally and overseas.”

To be considered for governorship, bars are held to “rigorous standards” and must meet a series of criteria involving bar appearance and atmosphere, beer storage, and serving conditions — for example, every Trappist ale must be poured in its original glass, as is traditional in Belgium — and bar selection, which must include a minimum of 12 Trappist beers and at least five from La Trappe. Further, Trappist beers must be listed on a separate menu, and finally, along with properly representing the La Trappe brand, the bar must host at least one La Trappe–focused event per year.

Mort Subite carries a variety of Belgian beers, including blondes, dubbels, tripels, quads, and lambics, with 24 taps pouring a variety of Belgian-style brands, along with a cellar properly stocked with more than 40 bottles. About a dozen of Mort Subite’s selection of ales are produced by La Trappe.

“The value of the La Trappe Governorship is that it really shines a bright light on quality, dedication, and service,” said Lanny Hoff, Artisanal Imports SVP-Brands Manager. “We are delighted that Mort Subite is the first U.S. La Trappe Governor, and we look forward to them reaffirming this commitment every year as they continue to showcase La Trappe and other Trappist brewers in the best possible way.”

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