Spencer, MA is about to become the home of America’s first Trappist brewery. According to Thrillist, the U.S. will be one of only four countries to host this type of brewery, which requires—among other things—that the beer is brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery and that it is not sold for profit (proceeds are poured back into the monastery). There are currently only eight in the entire world: one in the Netherlands, six in Belgium, and one in Austria.
The monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey are adding a brewery under the management of Chimay. The 50,000 foot space is to be called The Spencer Brewery. Spencer Brewery’s first beer, inspired by those traditionally brewed for the abbey dinner table, will be “full-bodied, golden-hued Trappist ale with fruity accents, a dry finish and light hop bitterness.” The beer will be packaged in 11.2oz bottles.
Here’s a little bit of Trappist monk history from our friends over at Beer Street Journal:
The Cistercian order, parent group of the Trappists, was founded in 1098 in France. In the 16th century, the order split into two parts. the Cistercian Order, or common observance, and the Cistercians of the Strict Observance, or Trappists. The Trappist name is derived from Abbey of La Trappe, less than 100 miles from Paris, France. Today, there are nearly 180 strict observing or “Trappist” monasteries active around the world. Now, of those 180—only 8 are also breweries. Those 8—Chimay, Rochefort, Orval, Achel, Westmalle, Westvleteren, Koningshoeven, Stift Engelzell. The International Trappist Organization recognizes these breweries as Trappist.
The Spencer Brewery has yet to announce an official opening date. Until then, quench your thirst for high quality beer with one of our favorites: Orval Trappist Ale, Westmalle Tripel, or Brouwerij ST. Bernardus NV ST. Bernardus ABT 12.