brews brothers norman monks revive ancient beer tradition
Last Updated : GMT 01:59:58
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 01:59:58
Arab Today, arab today

Behind the centuries-old stone walls

Brews brothers: Norman monks revive ancient beer tradition

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Brews brothers: Norman monks revive ancient beer tradition

The Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint-Wandrille brew
Saint-Wandrille-Rançon - Arab Today

Behind the centuries-old stone walls of a Benedictine monastery in northern France, monks are busy bringing a long-lost tradition back to life.

Between prayer, Gregorian chants and spiritual reflection, they work on producing France's only truly monastic beer.

"For me it's a major event, one of the most important since I began my career in 1973," said French beer expert Herve Marziou, who advised the monks as they resurrected the venerable trade at the Abbey of Saint-Wandrille.

Nestled in the green heart of Normandy between Le Havre and Rouen, the monastery began selling a precursor of the beer in August before launching its definitive brew in early December.

Now the beer -- sold to help restore the monastery cloisters -- is flowing steadily and receiving high marks in the craft beer market.

"The feedback is good," said Marziou, 69. 

Some 25,000 half-litre (pint) bottles at 4.50 euros (dollars) each have already been sold at the abbey's shop, at other monasteries, online or through speciality stores.

"This is the only beer currently produced in France by monks in their own monastery," the abbey proudly says on its website.

The Saint-Wandrille monastery, founded in 649 and ravaged successively by Viking incursions, the wars of religion and the French Revolution, has been largely destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries.

Monastic brewing in France enjoyed a heyday during the Middle Ages, but nearly disappeared after the revolution when many religious orders were dissolved. 

Some monks and nuns returned to private life, many eventually marrying, but others fled the country, taking their beer recipes with them.

Monastic beers flourish among neighbouring countries, especially Belgium. But in recent memory France's only abbey beer brewed onsite by monks was that of the Sept-Fons abbey in central France, which stopped production in 1935.

Benedictine monks are bound by Saint Benedict's sixth-century "Rule for Monasteries" that says: "To truly be a monk one must work with his hands."

At Saint-Wandrille, monks produced beeswax furniture polish before launching a copying business in the 1970s -- which they dropped after failing to keep up with the technology.

The monks cast about for another activity to raise money before seizing, in August 2014, on the idea of a return to brewing, recounts 29-year-old Brother Benoit, in charge of public relations.

Two of the monastery's 30 monks took up the challenge, Brother Matthieu, 31, and 70-year-old Brother Christian, who sought out training at an agricultural high school in Douai, near the border with Belgium.

- Not too bitter -

Upon their return, they experimented using a brewing kit they were given by British friends during a trip by a group of Saint-Wandrille monks to Quarr Abbey, a Benedictine monastery on the Isle of Wight.

They then formed a committee that came to an agreement on the desired taste -- bitter but not too bitter -- and colour, a caramel pitched between blond and amber.

"They set themselves apart from Belgian beers that are slightly sweet, but less bitter than the beers typical of northern France," said Thierry Cauet, their trainer in Douai, adding that the taste would agree with drinkers in many parts of France.

If the beer has an English taste, it is because the recipe includes four English hops varieties, grown in France -- "two bitter hops and two aromatic ones" -- said Brother Matthieu, who started out with no knowledge of brewing.

At the end of 2015, the monks took the plunge, taking out a 750,000 euro bank loan to buy the necessary equipment.

Their goal is to produce 80,000 litres a year from an operation that employs the two brewers plus packers and a sales force.

The label declares an alcohol content of 6.5 percent -- it would have been hard to guarantee a figure of 6.49 percent in honour of the abbey's founding year.

Source: AFP

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

brews brothers norman monks revive ancient beer tradition brews brothers norman monks revive ancient beer tradition

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

brews brothers norman monks revive ancient beer tradition brews brothers norman monks revive ancient beer tradition

 



Arab Today, arab today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 11:23 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 20:46 2018 Monday ,01 January

Mohamed Adel performs different role in show

GMT 03:15 2016 Tuesday ,14 June

Pique header hands Spain

GMT 15:13 2017 Thursday ,02 November

Diana Karazon praises reactions to latest song

GMT 10:08 2017 Saturday ,18 March

Singer Angham is keen to meet fans’ aspirations

GMT 08:23 2017 Saturday ,02 December

Safia Al Emari denies writing her memories

GMT 21:00 2013 Sunday ,23 June

Mohammad Ishtayeh may replace Palestinian PM

GMT 16:02 2015 Tuesday ,15 September

President Joko Widodo hails UAE, Indonesia relations
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday