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. 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. 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…