Demand Grows For Trappist Monks' Beer

Dec 16, 2013
Originally published on December 16, 2013 7:27 am
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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And that brings us to our last word in business. The word is: Trappists.

They're an order of monks. And some of them are in the beer business. In Belgium, the Trappists produce Orval. The beer is highly sought after. But now demand is exceeding supply.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And here's the problem. Forbes Magazine reports there simply aren't enough monks to expand production of Orval. The abbey once had 35 monks., but today that number is down to just a dozen. One brother told a local newspaper he'd like to see their numbers grow but, quote, "monks are not found through headhunters."

WERTHEIMER: But there is good news, if you're looking for a Trappist beer right here in the U.S. Spencer, Massachusetts is home to St. Joseph's Abbey, a Trappist monastery that supports itself by selling jams and jellies. Now St. Joseph's has been cleared to brew its own Trappist ale.

GREENE: That's right. They got permission. The International Trappist Association gave its seal of approval last week, making the monastery the first outside Europe to brew the special beer. St. Joseph's hasn't sold any of its brew yet, but it's released an image of a label which reads: American Trappists, Pair with Family and Friends.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

WERTHEIMER: And I'm Linda Wertheimer. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.