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America Is Getting Its First Trappist Brewery

Does America have a Trappist brewery in the works? Yes in Spencer, Massachusetts.

First, let’s reacquaint ourselves with who the Trappist are. The Cistercian order, parent group of the Trappists, was founded in 1098 in France. In the 16th century, the order split into two parts.┬áthe 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. None are in the United States. Until now.

The Saint Joseph Abbey in Spencer is adding a brewery, under the advisement of Chimay. A 50,000 square foot brewery was applied to be rezoned back in 2011 under the name “The Spencer Brewery.”

This is among first offerings, to be packaged in 11.2oz bottles.

Inspired by traditional refectory ales brewed by monks for the monks’ table. Spencer is a full-bodied, golden-hued Trappist ale with fruity accents, a dry finish and light hop bitterness.

More on production and distribution to follow…

Spencer Trappist Label

11 thoughts on “America Is Getting Its First Trappist Brewery

  1. What’s the point of the second paragraph? You introduce the term” observance” as a means of distinguishing the Cistercians but you don’t tell us what that means, which group the St. Joseph’s Abbey belongs to or why it’s relevant to your story. English Comp 101

    • Considering the article stated there were no Trappist breweries in the United States, until now, it should have been obvious that St. Joseph’s Abbey is Trappist. Heck, the article headline and the beer label are also tip offs. Observance wasn’t the term introduced to distinguish the groups. The article clearly stated that the Cistercian Order means “common observance”, whereas the Trappist are the Cistercians of Strict Observance.

  2. Congratulations! As of today there are 10 Trapist beers. 2 Dutch (from the Netherlands) 1 from Austria, 1 from the USA, and 6 from Belgium. Both Spencer and Zundert (the Netherlands) are the latest. When the first Trapist of Zundert was sold, it was sold out within hours! For me the best is Orval (Belgium), However Spencer, Zundert and Stift Engelzell, I didn’t get to taste yet!

  3. Does anybody knows how you can order the spencer trappist online?
    I am a collector of the trappist beers,
    And i have them all,… except the spencer trappist,….
    Greetz from belgium

  4. Massachusetts is the land where dreams come to life. Living in Spencer was one of the most peaceful segments I’ve had in decades. Miss it extremely. Hope all is well there.

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