Traditional brewing has always had a home in the abbeys of Europe. Abbeys, by definition, are cloistered—meaning separated from society as a whole—and often self-sufficient, with the work of the inhabitants providing much of the required food and provisions. As the world outside the abbey walls modernized and adopted regional breweries, monks and nuns carried on with their quiet spiritual lives inside the grounds of the abbeys, and continued to brew their own beers to sustain their monastic communities. As a result, many older styles of beer survived. Strictly speaking, any beer made at or in conjunction with an abbey can be an abbey beer, which is not necessarily a certain beer style. In modern parlance, the term “abbey beer” is a reference to medium strength brown ale (dubbel), strong pale ale (trippel) or stronger still brown ale (quad). These beers usually contain some sugar as an adjunct to boost alcohol while maintaining a light body. Abbey ales are excellent matches for food and considered some of the finest culinary beers in the world.