There are around 176 Trappist monasteries around the world; that is, monasteries that belong to the Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance, a branch of the Cistercian Order, which is in turn a branch of the Benedictine Order. Only 14 of those monasteries have the license, granted by the International Trappist Association, to brew beer.
One of those is the brewery at Mount Saint Bernard Abbey, near Coalville, Leicestershire, which was set up one year ago. It is the only monastery in the UK authorized to brew an official Trappist beer.
This is the UK’s first Trappist beer
Since then, the Abbey has produced about 30,000 bottles of Tynt Meadow, their distinctive English Trappist Ale, but worldwide requests for more are putting the monks in a tight spot: they are now unable to satisfy demand.
According to the note published by the BBC, their beer (named after the meadow where monks settled in 1835) is sold both at the abbey shop and by some local retailers, and about a third of their production is sold through a distribution company, and it is becoming particularly popular in Belgium, a country connoisseurs consider the world capital of good beer.
In fact (and as a side note), the monks at the Belgian Norbertine Abbey recently pored over a collection of 200-year-old books that were once nearly destroyed by a fire. None of them had any idea they were about to rediscover the lost art of brewing Grimbergen beers, which has not been practiced by the brothers since the end of the 18th century.
The Grimbergen name has survived the centuries, thanks to the Danish beer giant Carlsberg, which has licensed the name for an internationally renowned beverage, but whose beers are made using modern techniques. You can read more about this ancient Belgian monastic beer here.