HAVING ENJOYED A SPIRITUOUS BEVERAGE THE OTHER DAY AND FINDING A CURIOUS NAME ON THE LABEL, OFTEN SEEN, ONLY GENERALLY UNDERSTOOD AS THE INCREDIBLE MONKS WHO BREW BEER
n. — a monk of the branch of the Cistercian order observing the reforms established in 1664 by [Armand Jean le Bouthillier] de Rancé, abbot of La Trappe, Normandy; later a follower of the independent Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance
adj. — of or relating to this order
fm. a place name. The Cistercians, [themselves] named after the French [abbey] Cîteaux, [south of Dijon,] were originally guided by principles of simplicity and self-sufficiency, becoming particularly famous in Medieval life for success in architecture, agriculture, metallurgy, and hydraulic engineering. When academic and educational pursuits came to dominate Cistercian life, a reform movement sought to return to original teaching, leading to the formation of the [independent] Trappists in 1892. They focused on an agrarian lifestyle, with a renown for brewing ales.
Currently eleven monasteries are authorized to brew and sell Authentic Trappist Product. Six in Belgium, two in the Netherlands and one each in Austria, Italy, and the United States, the last brewed by the monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey at Spencer Brewery, Spencer, Massachusetts.
first published. 1814
inspiration. beer, of course
featured image. Pompeo Massani (Italian, 1850–1920). Detail of Monk with Glass of Wine. Oil on canvas, 15 3/4 x 12 inches.