Did you know there are fewer Trappist breweries in the world than there are breeding giant pandas in captivity? To be specific, there are 43 times more pregnant pandas than monks brewing beer.
While the first Trappist brewery was established over 400 years ago, Tynt Meadow, the sole English producer has only been making beer a matter of months. Situated in rural Leicestershire, the monastery’s motto is ‘Ora et labora’ – pray and work. In order to maintain the historic buildings and provide money for living, the monks have branched out into brewing.
The criteria to become a Trappist producer is very strict guaranteeing quality and authenticity. All produce must be made within the confines of the monastery by the monks, it must be secondary to the monastic way of life and any profit is given to charity.
It isn’t just the beer that is authentic, the bottle label draws on a 12th Century Cistercian script, developed by Brother Anselm Baker. A quill was also used to draw the brewery’s logo of the lancet windows, characteristic of the church.
The beer is only brewed with English malt and hops and is a deep mahogany colour with a nose of dark chocolate and soft fruits. The ideal partner to strong cheese and crusty bread. As you read this, the beer is going through its second fermentation in the bottle.
You might think that monks live solitary lives, but the brothers at Tynt Meadow are always happy to welcome guests -Their door is always open, the heart even more so.