1st Trappist Brewery in US

Looks like Trappist monks here in Massachusetts have built the first Trappist brewery outside of Europe. The beer’s supposed to hit retail shelves next week!

Short story here: http://bo.st/1cJPIKz

Finding the hop character is always a challenge with Belgian beer.

Someone who knows more about beer - why is that the case?

Traditional “noble” hops used in Europe have low alpha acid levels. They are normally added early in the boil. Hop aroma & flavor are provided by later additions (usually 5 minutes or later before flameout). Also, heavily hoppy beers are usually dry or wet-hopped after primary fermentation is over. This is where the real hoppy flavors & aromas come from.

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Look at you! all smarty pants and shit!

Better than shitty pants and smart. No? [drinkers.gif]


There’s a new Trappist brewery in Austria as well, the brothers seem to be on a roll:


Great stuff, too. Not trying to emulate past Trappist Dubble/Tripel styles, forging their own path. All use a wine yeast that imparts a vinous quality in the beers; Gregorious is somewhat Orval-esque, and the Benno has a smoky Rauchbier tone behind the dark malt. Yummy stuff.

The Spencer Trappist Ale was finally released this week and picked up a 4 pk. Have not had a chance to try it yet

Gerry - I tried it and it is not my style. It has a strong clove taste on the back end which I do not enjoy at all. That’s fine as it is $17.99 for a 4-pack and the bottles are not even 12 oz. I guess I am not a true beer connoisseur.

Bob, I pretty much agree with your assessment. It does have a strong clove and rather fruity personality that I find not my style. It’s a similar profile to a few German beers I’ve had that make me ask " Other than the story behind the brewery, what makes this so special?" Unfortunately, nothing. My fear is this could go badly for them without some changes. They made a huge investment by the looks of the brewery but the marketing of an 11.2 oz bottle at a retail of $5/bottle without any “knock your socks off” quality into an already crowded market place could be problematic. Their initial sales will do well given the publicity and people wanting to support local business but after a couple of sips I had to ask myself what the big deal was.

I just thought to revisit this and add my thoughts on Spencer Trappist Ale. I think it’s nice, but really doesn’t measure up to the Belgian Trappists. It doesn’t have the depth of flavor or harmony of pretty much any of the widely available Belgian examples, in my opinion. I’m not a buyer at $18/4-pack. It’s nice that they’re doing this in the US, though, and maybe later releases will be better.

Also, this beer is extremely easy to find.

How about at $75?


[pwn.gif] [pwn.gif] [pwn.gif]

I can’t even lol harder.

That’s St. Bernardus ABT 12 money, right there!

That might have had something to do with my post.

The abbey is very nice. They also make very tasty jams and preserves there. They have a little gift shop with all sorts of Trappist goodies. It is a little over and hour drive from Boston and worth the trip.


Trappist breweries had open ceiling/roofs for airborne yeast to ferment the beer. Who would want to do this anywhere near a city?

Not really. That’s gueuze/lambics, and the most famous one, Cantillon, is in Brussles.

As I’m sure most people know by now, Spencer has shut off its brewery for good, which was not a surprise from a business standpoint. As many know already, Belgian beer styles are currently out of favor. The fact that the brewery/monastery was only open once a year (2019 being the last year due to COVID) did not help matters.

Over the years, I enjoyed several of the Spencer beers. Besides the flagship ale, their holiday ale, grapefruit IPA, and Russian imperial stout were all impressive. The barrel aged ales were outstanding, but much harder to find.The Monkster Mash was one of the better pumpkin beers out there, though one could argue that it was late to that game, with 2019 being the first release. Less impressive were their overly yeasty quad, their nondescript Trappist IPA, and their Vienna Lager, which tasted like a poor person’s Sam Boston Lager.

Spencer’s annual open house was a lot of fun, which I’ll miss as much as any of the Spencer beers themselves.

Ultimately, Spencer lands among my most missed Massachusetts breweries, along with Pretty Things and Mystic, which disappeared for entirely different reasons. I have great memories of many of their beers.