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Oh Brother: Massachusetts Monks Brew America's First Genuine Trappist Ale

by The Drink Nation on Jan 16, 2014 in Beer
Oh Brother: Massachusetts Monks Brew America's First Genuine Trappist Ale

For centuries only nine European breweries — six in Belgium plus two in the Netherlands and one in Austria — produced Trappist Ales, the veritable holiest of potable holies for beer snobs all over the world.

But thanks to the enterprising monks at St. Joseph's Abbey in Massachusetts, the United States is now home to the 10th producer of ales that carry the divine Trappist designation. According to the Associated Press, the first fruits of those ambitious monks’ brewing efforts, Spencer Trappist Ale, comes to market this week. It’s a cloudy, golden brew that’s all American, but has a lot in common with the time-honored traditional Trappist ales that precede it. Those well versed in Belgian beers will surely recognize the subtle sweet, malty and yeasty notes the heavenly potion puts forth.

The monks at St. Joseph's Trappist Abbey in Spencer, which is about an hour outside of Boston, have been producing and selling various jams and jellies for the past 60 years to support their monastery and surrounding communities. But five years ago, they came up with a plan to turn their attention to brewing beer like their more famous European counterparts, whom the brothers turned to for advice on everything from building a state-of-the-art brewing facility to formulating a recipe for their first beer.

The only foreseeable bummer here is, for the time being, Spencer Trappist Ale will be available only in Massachusetts, but plans are in the works to extend distribution to more states.

Check out the awesome video below that gives a brief day-in-the-life look at St. Joseph's Trappist Abbey, and Spencer Brewery. 

Photo: Spencer Brewery


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