Skip to comments.Mass. monks first in U.S. to brew authentic Trappist beer
Posted on 01/16/2014 12:14:59 PM PST by mgstarr
SPENCER, Mass. -- For more than a century, Catholic Cistercian monks known as Trappists have been brewing and selling what many beer lovers consider some of the best in the world. Eight monasteries - six in Belgium and one each in Holland and Austria - produce the only beer recognized by the International Trappist Association as authentic Trappist beer.
And starting Thursday, the 63 brothers of St. Joseph's Abbey - about an hour's drive west of Boston - will join them, selling the first Trappist beer brewed outside Europe.
Their ambitious venture was hardly met with enthusiasm by their exacting Trappist brothers in Europe.
After all, for nearly 60 years the monks in Spencer, Mass., had been selling jams and jellies to help support their community. Now they were interested in the real family business: beer.
The journey from jams to beer started almost five years ago when St. Joseph's sent two monks on a fact-finding mission to the Belgian Beer Fest in Boston. Within hours, their European brothers were alarmed to learn of the inquiries.
"The original skepticism was because we were outside of Europe ... and Americans," said Father Isaac Keeley, the bald, jovial former potter who has been at St. Joseph's for 35 years and now directs the brewing. "And the fear we would go too big too fast."
(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...
Sounds like how the French winos felt about California making wines.
Amazing how capitalism is the one thing that sustains so many. These monks make their own jams and other things and now they’re going to start brewing beer.
What’s next... MONK MOONSHINERS!!!!??!!??
Need to try some of this.
Spencer isn’t all that far from where I live. Same County. Gonna have to git me some a dat brewhaha..
I wonder too...did the original recipe from German Trappist monasteries have to conform to the Reinheitsgebot? Have they changed that recipe after 1993 when it was replaced?
I’m shocked there are still monks, especially in Belgium and Massachusetts.
A new reality show is born!
The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World
I don’t know about the rest of this stuff but that Chimay Blue label is the best (ale) beer I ever had. It’s great.
Finally, some good news out of Massachusetts!
I went there on retreat several times many years ago, when I was in college and graduate school at Harvard. I was very favorably impressed by the Masses there. I haven’t been back there since, but I haven’t heard anything negative about them.
As for monks and capitalism, it was various orders of monks during the middle ages who were primarily responsible for the scientific and technological advancement of Europe. And they were particularly advanced in such things as agriculture, viniculture, water mills, millstones, and the like. Plus preserving the classical past and educating the aristocracy.
I second that. Blue label Chimay is an amazing beer.
Come to the Dark Side, everyone. We have beer.
I do not care much for continental European beer - it is either skunky (”Heineken” etc) or too sweet - most Belgian beers.
This is gross, but when I lived in Alaska there were some priests or monks north of Anchorage that made milk wine. That was back in the ‘70s. Sounds nasty.
Hmmmmmmmm, you might have hit on something there. First Duck Dynasty now Monk Moonshiners!.......
Sounds tempting, but I think I’ll just stick with my recently discovered favorite...Yuengling beer. America’s Oldest Brewery. Still family owned & operated :)
I’m waiting for the brothers to buy Budweiser and teach them to make good beer.
Royalties over here... Remember where you heard it first!!!! I want a paycheck outta this!!!!
I agree. I find Chimay ale undrinkable.