The full name of the abbey is the Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Heart of Westmalle. The community was founded in 1794 by monks of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance and was granted abbey status in 1836. The monks of this order are commonly known as Trappists, after the Abbey of La Trappe in France.
The Trappist produced by the Abbey of Westmalle are famous all over the world. The brewery funds the costs of the Abbey.