The Brewing Monks

Catholic Monasteries have long been a bastions of alcohol production. In the warmer climes of Southern Europe, they made wine. In the cooler north where grapes weren't a viable option, they turned to beer. Beer served the monasteries in many ways. The production of beer rendered often questionable water into a drinkable liquid. The grains and other ingredients used in beer also formed a nutritious piece of the everyday diet of the monks and all who consumed it.

Besides working the land and producing for their own needs, monks provided shelter and sustenance for weary religious pilgrims and other travelers, selling to them their labors from the land, including their beer. The beer nourished and revived the guests while providing added income to the abbey helping to pay for that which could not be done in-house. Today, that tradition lives on in the hearts of the world's brewing monasteries. While many abbeys would have had a brewery, only a few dozen have survived the centuries of war and increased secularization to take up the brewers mash paddle in the 21st Century. The Brewing Monks is there story.

(The abbeys are categorized by the Monastic Order to which they belong)

Trappist Benedictine Fransiscan

The Trappists

The Brewing Monks: The Trappist Breweries (Part 3)

The Brewing Monks: The Trappist Breweries (Part 3)

In the first part, The Brewing Monks: A Brief History of the Trappist Order and Monastic Brewing, we covered the basic history of Trappists and how monasteries became associated with brewing.  In The Brewing Monks: The Trappist Breweries (Part 1), The histories and beers of Rochefort, Stift Engelszell, Westmalle, and Westvleteren were explored.  In The Brewing Monks: The Trappist Breweries (Part 2),...
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The Brewing Monks: The 11th Trappist – Tre Fontane

The Brewing Monks: The 11th Trappist – Tre Fontane

Monastero dei SS. Vincenzo e Anastasio alle Tre Fontane (Tre Fontane) - Roma, Italia (Est. Early 4th Century CE/Modern Est. 1868, Brewery Est. 1873) In May of 2015, the Trappist brewing community gained an 11th member: Monastero dei SS. Vincenzo e Anastasio alle Tre Fontane (The Monastery of Saint Vincent and Saint Anastacio). Tre Fontane's ascendance to the vaunted ranks of a...
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The Brewing Monks: The Trappist Breweries (Part 2)

The Brewing Monks: The Trappist Breweries (Part 2)

In the first part, The Brewing Monks: A Brief History of the Trappist Order and Monastic Brewing, we covered the basic history of Trappists and how monasteries became associated with brewing.  In The Brewing Monks: The Trappist Breweries (Part 1), The histories and beers of Rochefort, Stift Engelszell, Westmalle, and Westvleteren were explored.  In this segment, we'll look at the...
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The Brewing Monks: Almost Trappist

The Brewing Monks: Almost Trappist

In the first 4 parts of the The Brewing Monks, we looked specifically at the history of the Trappist order and the current Trappist Breweries.  In the first part, The Brewing Monks: A Brief History of the Trappist Order and Monastic Brewing, I looked at the history of the Trappist order and how abbeys become involved in brewing.  In the Second...
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The Brewing Monks: A Brief History of the Trappist Order and Monastic Brewing

The Brewing Monks: A Brief History of the Trappist Order and Monastic Brewing

Updated & Edited 03/07/2014 The Trappist Decade The last few years have been very active ones for the Trappist breweries.  Chimay celebrated its brewery's 150 anniversary in 2012 with a special beer.  Stift Engelszell joined the ranks of Trappist breweries by achieving its certification in 2012 making it the 8th official Trappist Brewery.  Westvleteren sold a world-wide release of their...
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The Brewing Monks: A Potential 12th Trappist Brewery Begins the Process in Spain

The Brewing Monks: A Potential 12th Trappist Brewery Begins the Process in Spain

On March 16th of 2016, a new beer was presented to the Spanish press: Cardeña Tripel. Located just outside Burgos in Northern Spain, Monasterio de San Pedro de Cardeña is beginning the process of becoming the 12th official Trappist brewery. The recipe was developed by Scottish brewmaster Bob Maltman (editorial note: Fantastic name for a brewer!) in cooperation with Belgian beer...
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The Brewing Monks: The Benedictine Breweries (Part 2)

The Brewing Monks: The Benedictine Breweries (Part 2)

The Brewing Monks: The Benedictine Breweries (Part 2) In the first 5 parts of the The Brewing Monks, we looked specifically at the history of the Trappist order and the current Trappist Breweries.  In the first part, The Brewing Monks: A Brief History of the Trappist Order and Monastic Brewing, I looked at the history of the Trappist order and how...
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The Brewing Monks: The Benedictine Breweries (Part 1)

The Brewing Monks: The Benedictine Breweries (Part 1)

  Updated & edited 03/07/2014 The Brewing Monks: The Benedictine Breweries (Part 1) In the first 5 parts of the The Brewing Monks, we looked specifically at the history of the Trappist order and the current Trappist Breweries.  In the first part, The Brewing Monks: A Brief History of the Trappist Order and Monastic Brewing, I looked at the history...
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The Benedictines

The Franciscans

The Brewing Monks: The Franciscans

The Brewing Monks: The Franciscans

The Order of Friars Minor - "Franciscans" Most commonly known as Franciscans, The Orders of Friars Minor are part of the group of mendicant orders that trace their origin to their founder St. Francis of Assisi which was founded in 1209 CE. Originally, the order was required to beg for its food as the monks preached on the street. They...
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The Brewing Monks: The Brewing Nun – Sister Doris Engelhard

The Brewing Monks: The Brewing Nun – Sister Doris Engelhard

This is a special edition of The Brewing Monks. When you run across an interesting story that needs more than the cursory entry into the series's list of brewing monasteries, you should give it the special attention it deserves. The story of Kloster Mallersdorf's brewmaster is one such story. Sister Doris Engelhard occupies a truly rare position in the world...
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