In the early 1900s the Trappist monks fled the Mont des Cats and escaped to Watou. There they took up residence at the ‘Patershof’ farm, just a stone’s throw from the current brewery. They re-named their new home the ‘Réfuge de Notre Dame de St Bernard’ – and it was to prove a refuge in practice as well as in name. For many years to come, there was an agreement that allowed the sale of the beers only within the monasteries and only a few local taverns.
However, since 1992 the beers brewed in Watou have been sold under the brand name St. Bernardus. The St. Bernardus range is considered a close match the old traditional recipe and style.