US to open first Trappist brewery outside Europe

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Beer probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind when you think of the word “monastery” – but since receiving official recognition on Dec. 10, Saint Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Mass., will become the first American brewery to be manned exclusively by Trappist monks.

The beer, labeled “The Spencer Trappist Ale,” is to be brewed exclusively within the walls of the monastery. Founded in 1950 by members of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, commonly known as Trappists, Saint Joseph’s Abbey has roots that reach far back to monks who fled France  during its revolution at the end of 18th century.

Today, there are nearly 180 Trappist monasteries around the world. But of those 180 monasteries, only eight are also active breweries, with the recent addition of Saint Joseph’s Abbey increasing the list to nine.

America will be one of only four countries to host this type of brewery.

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