The history of St. Bernardus starts, very precisely, in 1934 when a famous Belgian cheese maker in the village of Watou was asked by the abbot of Sint-Sixtus Abbey in the neighbouring village of Westvleteren to brew and market the monks trappist ale. The duties were passed to the local cheesemaker by the monks who felt that their previous commercial brewing attempts were too much of a distraction from their religious endeavours. A licence was signed between both parties with partial proceeds benefiting the upkeep of the Sixtus monastery.
Whilst this lease has long since expired, and the Sixtus monks now once again produce their own ales within the walls of the monastery, the reputation of St. Bernardus had been established. Classed as abbey beers, the best recognised ale from St. Bernardus is their Wit or wheat beer.