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General Category => Going Pro => Topic started by: roguejim on January 10, 2014, 06:58:12 PM

Title: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: roguejim on January 10, 2014, 06:58:12 PM
http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/01/10/trappists-spencer-tap-monk-mystique-launching-brewery/FBgfeHbf5lr5NjOfP8Jd8J/story.html

Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: euge on January 11, 2014, 12:05:59 AM
Hoepfully, we'll get some of Spencer's beer in the future! Sounds ambitious though...
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: morticaixavier on January 11, 2014, 04:36:47 AM
gonna have to give my folks in MA a call and see if I can't score some of that.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: mattspiro on January 11, 2014, 09:58:21 AM

gonna have to give my folks in MA a call and see if I can't score some of that.

Ditto.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: fistfullofhops on January 12, 2014, 02:53:58 AM
My buddy told me about this today. I'm only about 15 min away from the brewery, can't wait to check it out!
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: bb-brew on January 13, 2014, 05:30:09 PM
My buddy told me about this today. I'm only about 15 min away from the brewery, can't wait to check it out!

I don't believe they are going to allow tours but hopefully I am wrong.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: fistfullofhops on January 13, 2014, 09:09:21 PM
That did occur to me after I wrote that reply seeing how it's a monastery and all :P
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: anthony on January 13, 2014, 10:57:48 PM
Many allow visitors under various circumstances, i.e. the Rule of St Benedict, which probably doesn't include a tour of the brewery but may include drinking the beer at a meal or two. Sometimes there are also various open house days. We were fortunate enough to hit Orval on an open house day a few years ago, pretty neat.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: bonjour on January 26, 2014, 05:14:15 PM
Where in Western Mass can one pick up some Spencer Beer?
I'm traveling to Vermont next weekend.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: Jeff M on January 26, 2014, 05:44:16 PM
Where in Western Mass can one pick up some Spencer Beer?
I'm traveling to Vermont next weekend.

In-state distributors for the beer are Atlas Distributing, Inc., Burke Distributing Corporation, Commercial Distributing Co., Merrimack Valley Distributing Co., and Colonial Wholesale Beverage Co.

Should be able to google their distributors and find a liquor store in Vermont or near the MA/VT Border.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: pete b on February 08, 2014, 01:44:10 AM
For those planning a pilgrimage you should know there are no tours and currently the gift shop at the Abby doesn't have a liquor license so the best you can do is buy a chalice with their insignia. It is selling at a lot of package store in Massachusetts. I've been excited about this for a couple years because I grew up near St. Joseph's Abby and currently only live 25 minutes from it and I've been hearing about it from my brother who almost became a monk there and now runs their gift shop and two close friends are former monks there. The beer tastes terrific. Not nearly as heavy as most trappist ales; I think because of this the more subtle characteristics of the yeast and malt shine. My only problem with it is that because they go down so easy the $17 price for a 4 pack of 11.2 oz bottles is hard to bear.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: Jeff M on February 08, 2014, 01:49:14 AM
Tried it last night at a local cafe.  It was a trappist Ale for sure;)
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: reverseapachemaster on February 08, 2014, 05:07:03 PM
Glad to hear they are maintaining standards.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 08, 2014, 05:15:30 PM

 Not nearly as heavy as most trappist ales; I think because of this the more subtle characteristics of the yeast and malt shine.


My understanding is that it's a Single/Enkle which would explain why it's not as heavy as some. I hear it's very well done. Can't wait to try some !
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: pete b on February 08, 2014, 06:43:05 PM
It is very well done. I think they did a great job of sticking to the Trappist tradition but making it their own. It 6.6% abv. Some Trappist ales are in the double digits with abv.
Another very cool thing is the monks are growing experimental barley fields and sharing what they learn with local farmers so we will hopefully have a good supply of local grains. We already have a small local malter and some varieties of hops do well around here so hopefully this will eventually be an all local ingredient beer. I hope that trickles down to us homebrewers.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: Jeff M on February 08, 2014, 06:46:07 PM
It is very well done. I think they did a great job of sticking to the Trappist tradition but making it their own. It 6.6% abv. Some Trappist ales are in the double digits with abv.
Another very cool thing is the monks are growing experimental barley fields and sharing what they learn with local farmers so we will hopefully have a good supply of local grains. We already have a small local malter and some varieties of hops do well around here so hopefully this will eventually be an all local ingredient beer. I hope that trickles down to us homebrewers.

It already has:)  I used local hops in my last brew and as soon as i can get to Valley that next brew will be ALL local:D
Cant wait
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: pete b on February 08, 2014, 08:52:27 PM
That's true but I thought that Valley Malt didn't use much grains grown in MA because the supply wasn't big enough.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: Jeff M on February 08, 2014, 09:01:22 PM
IS a state border of consequence?  I thought it was just all about knowing where you get your ingrediants from and supporting local farmers;)
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: pete b on February 09, 2014, 02:07:11 AM
No, Jeff your right, its not about state borders, it is about knowing your ingredients and being sustainable. At the same time i'm ecstatic that there are people like the brothers at St joseph's Abby and Valley Malt etc. that are doing what they are doing, making it more and more local.

Btw I'm sure you noticed I'm a new AHA member. Nice to meet you! I have a wonderful partner who got me the membership for my birthday this past week. She has been making mead  for twenty years and inspired my homebrewing.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: Jeff M on February 09, 2014, 02:14:31 AM
No, Jeff your right, its not about state borders, it is about knowing your ingredients and being sustainable. At the same time i'm ecstatic that there are people like the brothers at St joseph's Abby and Valley Malt etc. that are doing what they are doing, making it more and more local.

Btw I'm sure you noticed I'm a new AHA member. Nice to meet you! I have a wonderful partner who got me the membership for my birthday this past week. She has been making mead  for twenty years and inspired my homebrewing.

Nice to meet a fellow Masshole!!!(I kid of course) Where abouts are ya?  Im about 20 minutes N of Boston.  I really need to take a ride out to Valley.  I plan on making their malts the center of my beer line when production starts when possible.  Grown Local is a great hook if you can swing it.  Check out the hop folks over at Four Star.  Their Product smells great and they are ever so helpful, cant wait to see what they have on offering after next gorw season.  They have had a few varietal issues but have a few others int he works!

Cheers,
Jeff
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: pete b on February 09, 2014, 02:51:46 AM
Hi Jeff. I live in Barre, relatively close to the Valley. Less than an hour from valley malt, probably 1 1/2 or 2 hours from marblehead. I've met the hops folks at 4 star at the garlic festival in orange ( highly recommended). I use their flours a lot. I actually grow some of my own hops, so far most successful with cascade and galena. I intend to grow my own barley and wheat and malt myself too just because I love that s***.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: pete b on February 09, 2014, 02:55:12 AM
I just got that it looks like you are about to go commercial. Am I right?
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: Jeff M on February 09, 2014, 02:59:09 AM
I just got that it looks like you are about to go commercial. Am I right?

Aye, int he next year or so hopefully.  Assuming everything lines up correctly.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: pete b on February 09, 2014, 03:14:24 AM
Good luck Jeff! I'm a foodservice pro and well connected to central Mass farmers. If I can help in any way let me know. I love that we can actually dream of doing such things! Much respect to those who took chances before us and folks like you who are putting it on the line now. Thank you!
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: Jeff M on February 15, 2014, 01:45:44 PM
Found this at the local liquor store.  18 bucks a 4 pack, worse then dogfish headbeers...

(http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b628/fejjgw/IMG_20140212_182144_579_zps7b19161c.jpg) (http://s1295.photobucket.com/user/fejjgw/media/IMG_20140212_182144_579_zps7b19161c.jpg.html)

Jeff
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: reverseapachemaster on February 15, 2014, 03:24:37 PM
Their beer is $18 for a four pack?

I was going to say that's really expensive but a 750ml of Chimay red goes for around $10-11 here which is half as much beer, so I guess it's about on par.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: pete b on February 16, 2014, 03:19:04 PM
I heard awhile back that as part of the support given to  St Joseph's Abby monks by Chimay there was a deal that all distributor's of Chimay in Massachusetts had to carry Spencer ale but it could not be priced cheaper than chimay. I saw it at Whole Foods ( aka "whole paycheck") yesterday for $19. I bought a 4 pack for my son last week for $17 at Provisions in North Hampton.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: euge on February 16, 2014, 03:35:03 PM
Ach. Their f'ing price is way too high. We'll probably never see this beer down here anyway. Chimay is so ridiculously priced I won't buy it anymore. Haven't had one in years.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 16, 2014, 04:12:34 PM
I tried some at the club meeting, it was OK, but had too much Banana for me.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: morticaixavier on February 16, 2014, 04:44:27 PM
It's ironic that trappist beers are so expensive. The rule of saint benedict clearly states that the produce of a monastic community should be priced slightly lower than market price to show humility. Although now that I say that I'm not totally sure that the trappist tradition follows the rule of saint benedict. Hmmm I'll have to ask my wife.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: pete b on February 16, 2014, 05:38:14 PM
They do follow the Rule of St Benedict, in fact they are known for their strictness. I didn't know that it was that specific, I just thought there was a general statement to the effect that they should support themselves through the work of their own hands.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: morticaixavier on February 16, 2014, 08:25:43 PM
They do follow the Rule of St Benedict, in fact they are known for their strictness. I didn't know that it was that specific, I just thought there was a general statement to the effect that they should support themselves through the work of their own hands.

Even if I am correct which is by no means certain as my knowledge is based mostly on reading and rereading my wife's thesis I would imagine that part of that price is on the part of the distributer.
Title: Re: First Trappist Brewery in the U.S.A.
Post by: reverseapachemaster on February 17, 2014, 03:31:36 PM
I also think the distributors have a lot to do with the price point. It's too bad. I don't drink the trappist styles like I used to but the prices don't help. I like the humanitarian efforts supported in part by the beer sales but there are so many beers I would rather drink at that price point.