It’s true. In addition to eight Trappist breweries in Europe centuries later a United States monastery followed suit and opened the first and only brewery in the United States so far in Boston, Massachusetts in 2013.
It is important to point out that “Trappist” does not denote a style of beer or brewery but is a trademark that indicates the product is made under the strict supervision of monks at or near a monastery. It should also be mentioned that this designation is not only used for beer, but for any of the other products produced by the monks to support their monastery. This can be any type of product from soaps to candles to ceramics and, of course, beer.
The Spencer Brewery in the Unites States used to produce and sell jelly before getting into the beer business. The production of products by Trappist monks is directly related to their daily life which can be summed up by the motto “ora et labora” which means “work and prayer.” And that is their life, praying seven times a day and performing daily labor to produce whatever they can to sustain the monastery.
And from the looks of the monasteries in Europe and now in the United States they do a very fine job of it. When you purchase a bottle of Trappist beer next time think of it as a charitable contribution to supporting a centuries old religion. This may ease the conscience a little.