Trappist breweries aren’t new—monks have been brewing beer since the Middle Ages—and yet there are only 10 official Trappist breweries in the world, and they’re all in Europe. In fact, most of them are in Belgium.
Actually, Europe used to hold a monopoly on Trappist breweries. The 10th and newest Trappist brewery has opened in the U.S., in Spencer, Massachusetts, by the monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey.
According to NPR, the monks have taken to brewing to help maintain their self-sufficiency. Two monks trained in Belgium to learn the ins and outs of brewing, but aren’t following the classic guidelines with their recipe, which will be a low-alcohol “refectory ale,” that monks typically brew for their own consumption.
You should be able to find bottles of Spencer Trappist Ale in Massachusetts by the end of this month.