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USA: Spencer Trappist Ale
/ Spencer Trappist Holiday Ale 11.2 oz
Trappist Holiday Ale
Belgian Strong Ale
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Spencer Trappist Holiday Ale
(ABV 9%) pours a deep, hazy mahogany with a creamy beige head. Aromas of sweet malts, dark fruits, and spice carry through to the taste, which is dry and peppery on the finish. A heart-warming feast day ale from the monks' table to yours. 11.2 oz. bottle.
Of all the beers in the world, only twelve may carry the name "Trappist": the beers of Achel, Chimay, La Trappe, Orval, Mont des Cats, Rochefort, Westvleteren, Westmalle, Stift Engelszell, Zundert, Spencer and Tre Fontane. You can recognize them from the "Authentic Trappist Product" logo.
A Trappist beer is only given this name if it satisfies a number of strict criteria:
The beer is brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey, by the monks themselves or under their supervision.
The brewery must be controlled by the monastery and have a business culture compatible with the monastic project.
The purpose of the brewery is not to make a profit. The income takes care of the livelihood of the monks and the upkeep of the abbey site. What is left over is used for charitable purposes, social work and people in need.
The Trappist breweries produce beers of an impeccable quality that is permanently controlled.
Trappist breweries strictly observe all standards in the areas of safety, health and consumer information. And the style of communication and advertising is one of honesty, austerity and the modesty appropriate to the religious environment in which the beers are brewed.
St. Joseph's Abbey: Spencer, Massachusetts
St. Joseph's Abbey is a monastery of the Catholic Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (O.C.S.O.), popularly known as the "Trappists", located in Spencer, Massachusetts.
The Abbey was founded in 1950 by Belgian and French Trappist monks from the Monastery of Our Lady of the Valley in Valley Falls, Rhode Island, which had burned to the ground. In the rustic hills of central New England, they established a new home in which to follow an age-old contemplative way of life.
The monastery became known internationally as the origin of the Centering Prayer movement in modern Catholicism and Christianity, whose leading proponents were monks at the monastery: Fr. William Meninger, Fr. M. Basil Pennington and Fr. Thomas Keating.
Work has always been greatly esteemed in the Cistercian tradition, since it gives the monks the opportunity to follow in Christ' footsteps and share in His Divine work of creation and restoration. The monks participate in three major industries which provide for their livelihood and for the care of the poor. Since the 1950s, they have produced Trappist Preserves, their popular line of 30 flavors of jams and jellies. Since 1949, The Holy Rood Guild has created beautiful, finely-tailored liturgical vestments to enhance the dignity of the Sacred Liturgy. In 2014, with the advice and assistance of their brother Trappists in Belgium, the monks founded Spencer Brewery, producing the first and only certified Trappist beer made in the United States.
Spencer Brewery at St. Joseph's Abbey: Spencer, Massachusetts
Spencer Brewery is a project born of tradition and necessity. For over 60 years, the monks at St. Joseph's Abbey have cooked and packed jams and jellies at their monastery under the Trappist Preserves label. This business has supported them, while providing wholesome monastic work and charitable assistance to persons in need. However, looking to the future, they saw a need for an additional enterprise that will support their community and charities in the years to come.
Just a few years ago, one of the brothers expressed interest in brewing and even did some training at a local craft brewery. Over time, his passion for brewing affected some other monks, who recognized that brewing was a very traditional monastic enterprise. Thus, when the time came to re-chart the economic path for the monastery's future, the idea of a brewery gained traction.
With the blessing of the abbot, they embarked upon a two-year data-gathering mission. They visited each Trappist brewery to learn everything they could from their European brothers. Beginning at the Abbey of Westmalle, they slowly made their way around Belgium, staying at the monasteries and making friends, receiving good advice and drinking some of the world's best beer. The final stop of their first trip was the Abbey of Sint Sixtus, brewer of the acclaimed Westvleteren ales. By the end of their second trip and more detailed discussions, they were confident that they had put together a realistic plan for a new brewery. Following monastic tradition, the monks voted and confirmed the project by an overwhelming majority to build America's first Trappist brewery.
Observing Trappist tradition, they named their brewery, and the beer, Spencer after their beloved town of Spencer, Massachusetts.
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Spencer Trappist Holiday Ale 11.2 oz
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