Trappist monks brew some of the tastiest- and strongest- beers around, but what really separates their beer from most is that the beer is not sold for profit.

Trappist monks, a group of monks that make up a branch of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, have been brewing beer since the Middle Ages. Because the Cistercian order requires monasteries to remain self-sufficient, Trappist monks often sell their homemade beer to the public.

To sell Trappist beer, however, Trappist brewers must adhere to strict guidelines. First, the income from the sales of the beer must go back into the monastery and pays living expenses and maintenance of the monastery.  Also, any excess profit must go to charity.

Trappist beers must also be brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery under the supervision of monks, and the beer making production should back seat to  is the monks. You’ll find imitation beers, such as Ovila (which is produced in Northern California) labeled as abbey beers, but these are brewed by commercial brewers and aren’t considered Trappist beers.

The rarity and hand-crafted taste of these brews also makes them highly sought after by connoisseurs and enthusiasts.

Today, eight different beers bear the official Trappist beer label, but not all of the brews are created equal. Here are some of the best Trappist brews that are sure to please your palate. Cheers.