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Britain’s first Trappist beer launched

Monks at the abbey raise a glass of Britain's first Trappist ale (Mount St Bernard Abbey)

Mount Saint Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire is to become Britain’s first Trappist brewery, after years of research and experimentation.

Monks at the abbey began investigating the idea after relinquishing their dairy business in 2013, it no longer being economically viable.

As part of their research, the Brothers visited ten of the eleven existing Trappist breweries, and engaged the help of a Dutch master brewer, Constant Keinemans. They began producing experimental brews of twenty litres at a time. The first was on St Lutgarde’s Day; Saint Lutgardis of Aywières was known for conducted seven-year fasts, surviving on bread and weak beer alone.

The final result, Tynt Meadow, comes in at 7.4% ABV (alcohol by volume). and is named after the meadow where the abbey is based. It will be on sale at the abbey and beer shops next month.

According to BBC News, Dom Erik Varden, abbot of Mount Saint Bernard, said he was “very relieved” to see the brewery up and running, and hoped it could help them extend their community work.

“Beer is a good, honest, nurturing drink – our Belgian friends said more than once it should be liquid bread and not coloured water, and that’s what we’re aiming to live up to,” he said.

The abbey is the first permanent monastery to be founded in England since the Reformation, and the only Cistercian house in England.