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America's First Trappist Beer Officially Available in NJ (And Coming Soon to Philly)

by Mike Bertha on Sep 12, 2014 in Beer for Monk's Cafe
America's First Trappist Beer Officially Available in NJ (And Coming Soon to Philly)

Trappist monasteries have been brewing their own beer since back when King Arthur’s knights sat around, well, a round table and Western Europe was mostly comprised of small fiefdoms caught up in a litany of Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars. (Got that? Quiz at the end.)

While many of their customs have evolved over the course of literal centuries, the monks still practicing today continue to abide by the central tenant of a Trappist lifestyle: maintaining a self-supportive existence.

And, since the rest of us have devolved into our own cesspool of baconnaise and whipped cream-flavored vodka, the monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey realized that they’d need to start brewing beer to remain “self-supportive.”

“Our brewery project is one of necessity. For over 60 years, we have cooked and packed jams and jellies at our monastery under the Trappist Preserves label. This business has allowed us to support ourselves, while providing wholesome monastic work and charitable assistance to the poorer communities and persons in need. However, when we look to the future, as our community grows and ages, we see our need for an additional enterprise that supports our community and charities in the years to come.”

After taking a fact-finding trip to Europe and meeting with the monks behind such delicious Trappist beers as Chimay and d’Orval, the monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey returned home to Spencer, MA, where they voted to build a state-of-the-art facility to brew America’s first Trappist beer, an ale they’d name after their beloved town.

“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.”

If you’re looking to get your monk on, you can hold your breath because Spencer has recently expanded their distribution area to include New Jersey and -- according to their Facebook page -- Spencer expects to make their Trappist ale available in Pennsylvania within the next month or so, which means it’s only a matter of time before you can order an American beer brewed by monks at an American bar named “Monk’s.”

Photo via Spencer Brewery


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