After years in planning, the USA finally has a Trappist beer. It’s official.
Spencer Trappist Ale, from St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, officially became an Authentic Trappist Product as of yesterday, December 10. “At a meeting yesterday of the International Trappist Association in Brussels, the Spencer Trappist Ale was awarded the ‘Authentic Trappist Product’ designation,” François de Harenne, Commercial Director of the Orval Trappist brewery, told me in a message today. “The decision was made after several controls made on the premises during the last weeks,” Harenne stated. “We also were lucky enough to taste the beer yesterday,” he remarked.
It is the I.T.A. that decides who to award the prestigious “Authentic Trappist Product” logo and designation for products produced by Trappist Abbeys. I wrote an article for the I.T.A. in the spring of 2012 about why non-Trappist beers should not be labeled as ‘Trappist’: “The meaning and proper use of the word “TRAPPIST” as it relates to beer and other products.” You can read it here.
So, done deal. The USA has a Trappist brewery. Now, to get a bottle and taste the beer….
The label proudly states “American Trappist” and “Pair with Family and Friends.” The beer is blond with 6.5% abv. Look for a full write up as more details become available. Also of note is that the label states the beer contains 11.2 fluid U.S. ounces, or 33 cl of beer, which is the same size used by most of the Trappist breweries in Europe, rather than the 12 fluid ounce/355 ml size that is most common here in the U.S. Perhaps they are using bottles produced in Europe.
St. Joseph’s Abbey has been producing a line of fine Trappist Preserves for many years. I’m a big fan of the Red Raspberry Seedless Jam, Blackberry Seedless jam, and Burgundy Wine Jelly. They have 30 different jams and preserves, so there are plenty to choose from. If the Spencer Trappist beer is as good as the jams are, we are all in for a real treat.
The brewery website is: http://www.spencerbrewery.com.
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