UK Gets First Trappist Brewery
For most of the past 183 years, the Trappist monks of the Mount St Bernard monastery in
rural Leicestershire England were dairy farmers, selling their milk to fund a quiet, rhythmic
existence of prayer and contemplation.But in 2013 they were forced to face reality. The low
price of milk and changes in agricultural production methods meant they could no longer make
the small profit they had relied on for modest living expenses and to maintain their historic abbey.
Now, five years after saying goodbye to their cattle, the Mount St Bernard community is
beginning a new business venture. Instead of producing milk, the monks are making beer.
The UK’s first Trappist beer, brewed in accordance with recipes dating back centuries,will
begoing on sale at specialist bars and retailers.. Tynt Meadow, a strong, dark ale named
after the location of the monastery, has “aromas of dark chocolate, liquorice and rich
fruit flavours” is their first highly anticipated beer.
“It has been a steep learning curve,” said Father Joseph, who has been at the monastery
for 32 years. “We’re not big drinkers, just the occasional glass at Christmas, Easter and
big feast days. When we started, we couldn’t detect the tastes the experts were talking
about – all the beers tasted the same. But over time we’ve got more sophisticated. Now I
can really tell the difference between them.”
The Mount St Bernard community was founded in a half-ruined cottage in Tynt Meadow
in 1835. Their monastery – later raised to the status of an abbey – was designed by Augustus
Pugin, the gothic revival architect who designed the interior of the Palace of Westminster.
The community, which is a branch of the Cistercian order, receives no subsidies from
the Catholic church for daily expenses or upkeep of buildings and grounds. The 26 monks
rise at 3.15am for the first of seven services throughout the day, which ends with
an 8pm bedtime. As well as worship and work, they spend time in private prayer,
contemplation and study.
The monks also produce pottery, candles, honey, rosaries, greeting cards, fruit and
vegetables to sell in the abbey’s shop, as well as cooking, cleaning and doing laundry
for the community and monastic guest house, and caring for elderly and sick brethren.
Tasks are done “as quietly as possible”.
Once the monks “fell on the idea” of reviving a beer-making tradition, they had to find out
howit was done, said Father Joseph. They practised with a home-brewing kit and sought
advice from 11 other Trappist breweries in northern Europe as well as Constant Keinemans,
a Dutch master brewer. The monks have tried to combine the traditions of Trappist brewers
elsewhere with those of small local breweries in the UK. Over the past year, they have
relocated their refectory, kitchen and laundry to create space for a new artisanal brewery.
Although they will keep production to a minimum, hoping only to meet their daily expenses
and support charitable commitments, making beer is now their main activity, with every stage –
brewing, bottling and packaging – carried out by monks. The beer comes in at 7.4% abv
the crossroads of the beer world
Bud / Coors Take A Hit
Americans' changing drinking habits have been
taking shape for years,but the trend is
accelerating in 2018. Beer shipments from US
breweries are down 3.5% so far this year,
according to The Beer Institute, Coors Light,
and Budweiser — have been hit particularly
hard. American drinkers have found that beer
doesn't go with everything. Instead of choosing
beer for every alcohol occasion, more people are
making their decisions based on social activities
AB InBev, the distributor of Budweiser, Bud Light,
and Stella Artois, is trying to reposition its beers
to fit the changing drinking environment.
Fewer people today say they exclusively drink
beer or wine, and category lines are blurring,
with the rise of flavored malt beverages, spiked
seltzers, and exotic bourbon and whiskey wines,.
More women are also drinking. Women favor
wine and cocktails at a higher rate than men,
Craft brews, once the bright spot in the US beer
industry, are beginning to grow at a slower pace.
Wines and liquors have picked up the slack.
Beer Rationed In UK
Booker, a major UK wholesaler owned by
Tesco (TSCDY), has confirmed that it's
limiting customers such as bars and grocers
to 10 cases of beer (300 cans) per brand a
day, the most dramatic consequence to date
of a shortage that also threatens food
production across Europe. The problem extends
far beyond beer: Carbon dioxide (CO2) is also
used in soda and meat production, as well as
food packaging, cooling and storage.
While it might sound strange, the carbon
dioxide shortage has its roots in the fertilizer
industry. The carbon dioxide that makes
beer and soda fizzy is a byproduct of
ammonia produced for use in fertilizer.
Several major ammonia plants in Europe
have closed for maintenance, leading to a
shortage of carbon dioxide.
The problem is most acute in the United
Kingdom, where only one ammonia plant
is operating normally. Food and drink
industry groups expect the shortage to
last up to the end of the month.