December isn’t exactly an easy time to find “moments of quiet reflection” in Craft Beer Cellar stores, but we’re proud to take some inspiration from a more reverent group for our final “Style of the Month” of the year. Trappist Ales are produced by only 10 breweries in the entire world, all certified by the International Trappist Association as upholding strict criteria:
- The beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery, either by the monks themselves or under their supervision.
- The brewery must be of secondary importance within the monastery and it should witness to the business practices proper to a monastic way of life.
- The brewery is not intended to be a profit-making venture. The income covers the living expenses of the monks and the maintenance of the buildings and grounds. Whatever remains is donated to charity for social work and to help persons in need.
–http://www.trappist.be/en/pages/trappist-beers (accessed: 1 December, 2014)
Throughout the month we’ll be exploring the beers of Achel, Chimay, La Trappe, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Stift Engelszell and The Spencer Brewery, both online and in-store. Westvleteren (of “Westy 12: One of the Rarest Beers in the World” fame) and Zundert (brewed in the Netherlands and not currently available in the US) won’t likely be making appearances on our shelves, but perhaps we’ll check in with friends across the pond for their stories about these beers!
This holiday season, we invite you to stop in and learn more about these fantastic beers with a rich history.