We are super excited to bring to you our second installment in our new BrewView series called “BREWERY SPOTLIGHT”! For the season of Lent 2017, we bring you our spotlight on BROUWERIJ DER SINT-BENEDICTUSABDIJ DE ACHELSE KLUIS.
And since it is the season of Lent, we’d like to shed a brief historical light on the famous LENTEN BEER FAST.
THE LENTEN BEER FAST
Back in the 1600s, Paulaner monks moved from Southern Italy to the Cloister Neudeck ob der Au in Bavaria. “Being a strict order, they were not allowed to consume solid food during Lent,” the current braumeister and beer sommelier of Paulaner Brewery Martin Zuber explained. They needed something other than water to sustain them, so the monks turned to a common staple of the time of their region: beer. They concocted an “unusually strong” brew, full of carbohydrates and nutrients, because “liquid bread wouldn’t break the fast,” Zuber noted.
This was an early doppelbock-style beer, which the monks eventually sold in the community and which was an original product of Paulaner brewery, founded in 1634. They gave it the name “Salvator,” named after “Sankt Vater,” which “roughly translates as ‘Holy Father beer,’” Zuber said. Although it’s doppelbock is enjoyed around the world today, it had a distinctly penitential origin with the monks. (Source: CRUX)
OUR RECOGNITION OF THE LENTEN BEER FAST
Although I was raised Catholic, I am now a Born-Again, Holy Spirit filled non-denominational Christian. However, I have recognized the centuries-old tradition of the Lenten Beer Fast, and have abstained from eating food for a few days at a time, but never for the full 40-46 days. As we thought about this Holy season, we thought about exactly what Trappist Ales would we celebrate it with? Of course, with ales from a brewery that we have not enjoyed since 2001!
THE HISTORY OF SINT-BENEDICTUSABDIJ DE ACHELSE KLUIS
The history of the brewery goes back to 1648, when Dutch monks built a chapel in Achel. The chapel became an abbey in 1686, but was destroyed during the period of the French Revolution. In 1844, the ruins were rebuilt by monks from Westmalle, and various farming activities began. The first beer to be brewed on the site was the Patersvaatje in 1852, and 19 years later in 1871, the site became a Trappist monastery, with beer brewing a regular activity.
In 1914 during World War I, the monks left the abbey due to German occupation. The Germans dismantled the brewery in 1917 to salvage the approximately 700 kg of copper. In 1998 the monks decided to begin brewing again. Monks from the Trappist Abbey of Westmalle and Rochefort Abbey assisted in the building of the new brewery. In 2001, the brewery released the Achel 8° beers. (Source: Wikipedia)
Trappist Achel Ales meet the rules for certification to call it an “Authentic Trappist Product”:
1. Products which carry this label are produced within the walls of the monastery or in the vicinity of the monastery.
2. The monastic community determines the policies and provides the means of production. The whole process of production must be in accordance with the business practices proper to a monastic way of life.
3. The profits are primarily intended to provide for the needs of the monastic community and for outreach to disadvantaged communities, groups and individuals.
OUR BREWERY SPOTLIGHT BREWVIEWS ON THE TRAPPIST ACHEL ALES
BrewView author GORDON A. PONCE is the main driving force behind Belgian Beer Journal.com. Since 1983, Gordon recognized that beers from Belgium were special, set apart from the typical craft beer.
He views beers from Belgium (plus Belgian-style and Belgian Inspired beers from other countries) great examples of the brewer’s art. Gordon and his wife live in beautiful Northern California- a great place to enjoy Belgian beer! Ecclesiastes 8:15