How am I just finding out about this now? Last winter the first official Trappist Brewery in the New World was launched by the brothers of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, MA.
For well over the last half-century, the Trappist monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey have been producing various jams & jellies to support their monastery and the community work that they do. However facing rising expenses, mostly due to the healthcare costs associated with an aging community — the average age of the monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey is 70 — they realized that something needed to be done.
So they decided to dig deep into the centuries-old tradition of their fellow Trappist monks in the Old World and decided to open a brewery. Spencer Brewery opened this past January as the very first Trappist Brewery outside of Europe.
The 60 monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey still rise at 3 a.m. for prayers and pass most of their days in silence. But when it is time for work, a handful head down to the monastery’s new brewery, the first outside Europe to produce certified Trappist Ale.
The venture has proven to be less labor-intensive than the monks’ other businesses, making religious vestments and fruit preserves. More importantly, they believe it can generate enough money to sustain a community of men with an average age of 70 who now spend about a third of their budget on health care.
“We’re trying to reinvent our economy,” said Father Isaac Keeley on a recent tour of the abbey’s low-slung stone buildings and starkly modern 30,000-square-foot brewery, nestled in a wooded property some 60 miles (97 km) west of Boston.
Work has always been a part of life for Trappists, a monastic order tracing its roots to 17th Century France, with monasteries around Europe and North America selling products ranging from coffins to cheese. The goal of these businesses is to bring in enough cash to sustain a community of men who pass most of their lives in seclusion.
The Spencer monks debated the move into beer making for more than a decade, as more of their members aged and moved into the monastery’s 12-room infirmary, which is usually full.
“The health costs are huge,” said Father Dominic Whedbee, the abbey’s 65-year-old prior, the group’s second-ranking member. “Our infirmary is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That way we can take care of all our men for the rest of their lives, which is our commitment.” Read More…
For now they are only brewing one style of beer, a 6.5% ABV Blonde Ale. Here’s the information on the beer from their website:
Our recipe was inspired by the traditional refectory ales known as patersbier (“fathers’ beer” in Flemish) in Belgium. These sessionable beers are brewed by the monks for their dinner table and are typically only available at the monastery. Spencer is a full-bodied, golden-hued ale with fruity accents, a dry finish and light hop bitterness. The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized, preserving live yeast that naturally carbonates the beer in the bottle and keg and contributes to the beer flavor and aroma.
I’m gonna have to pick some of this up.
For more Click Here.
- RT @JennMatthews57: My dad, Clay Matthews!! Let’s vote, my friends! #ClayMatthewsHOF https://t.co/RZH8CQbzS318 hours ago
- The outline is all finished, I'm super pumped. Can't wait to see it after I get color. #newtattoo #tattoo #tattoos… https://t.co/Ztt88JUjh3yesterday
- Finally working on completing a sleeve. In process. Forgot how much they hurt. #tattoo #tattoos #squarecitytattoo… https://t.co/lN6bEPsccSyesterday
- Both these acts were better then the pop country douchebags Jake Owens or whatever his name is brought. I'll give… https://t.co/WID9Ui6g9A2 days ago
- Good song choices from The Young Fables. Maybe, just maybe the pop country garbage will be silenced for the real thing. #RealCountryTV2 days ago
- I'm watching this #RealCountryTV show. I'm so glad the crowd eliminated the pop country fratboy douchebags.2 days ago
Gotta Serve Somebody (Live at Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, CA - July 1987)
Dylan & The Dead
43 mins ago
It's Alright With Me
New Riders Of The Purple Sage
The Adventures Of Panama Red
48 mins ago
Don't Keep Me Wonderin' (Live At The Final Fillmore East Concert/1971)
The Allman Brothers Band
Eat A Peach (Deluxe Edition)
51 mins ago
Drifting Too Far from the Shore
Jerry Garcia / David Grisman / Tony Rice
The Pizza Tapes
55 mins ago
One More Saturday Night
1 hour ago
1 hour ago