Grimbergen Abbey was founded in Grimbergen (just north of Brussels) in 1128. The monks became famous for providing hospitality and their home-brewed beer to visitors.
The abbey was destroyed by fire three times over the centuries, but was rebuilt by the Norbertine Fathers each time, leading to the adoption of the phoenix as its symbol.
The abbey was secularized, and brewing ceased in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Religious life was reestablished in the 1830s, but the brewery was not.
It was not until 1958, when Brouwerij Maes (Maes Brewery) contacted the monks at the abbey with the proposal to license the name "Grimbergen", that a beer associated with the abbey was brewed again. Today, Alken-Maes brews various Grimbergen beers in Alken, and has the rights to sales in Belgium. Carlsberg brews Grimbergen beers in France at Kronenbourg, and sells it abroad.