On September 8th, I was one of a lucky few able to tour the Spencer Trappist brewery of Spencer, Massachusetts. Saint Joseph’s Abbey is situated on 2,000 acres of rolling green farmland where monks live, pray (seven times daily), and make beer.
Since the 1950’s, the monks at Saint Joseph’s Abbey made and sold fruit preserves to sustain their community (and they still do), but as they grew, they needed to find new ways to earn money. After traveling to Belgium and visiting the Trappist breweries there, in December 2013, Spencer Brewery became America’s first Trappist brewery.
The beer is similar to its European Trappist beer cousins – it’s a fruity, full-bodied, golden-hued, unfiltered Belgian-style ale at 6.5% ABV. Considering the monastery’s stonework masonry, the brewery’s sleek, minimalist design was surprising – floor to ceiling windows, clean white walls, and an impossibly neat and tidy brewhouse.
And the monks do actually drink the beer they brew; every Sunday evening with dinner and on holidays.
View photos of our tour here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/94108891@N03/sets/72157647015266057/