According to The Guardian, Father Karel Stautemas, “in the presence of the town’s mayor and 120 journalists and enthusiasts,” made a startling announcement.
Image Via Cactus Hugs
The abbey, which Reuters notes has a phoenix emblem ‘with the Latin motto ‘Ardet nec consumitur’, meaning ‘Burned but not destroyed’,” was burned down in 1798 by French secular revolutionaries. As a result, the 12th century recipe was thought to be lost, but turns out the recipe, along with 300 others books, had been smuggled out and hidden within ancient archives.
Thus, Father Karel Stautemas told the awaiting crowd that, after “four years of research into the methods of monks that brewed beer in the Norbertine monastery” they had recreated the beer.
Image Via The Daily Mail
It seems that after rediscovering the recipes, the Monks called in some volunteers to read the old Latin and old Dutch, who revealed that the newly-discovered recipe had “details about the original monks’ brewing methods, specifically their use of hops rather than fermented herbs, which put the monks ahead of many of their contemporaries”.
The monks got to work. They did their best to keep the brewing as authentic as possible, such as using “wooden barrels and exploitation of particular local soil”, but changes had to be made. The Monks used only a few selected methods for brewing from the old manuscripts given that, as Master brewer Marc-Antoine Sochon explained to Daily Mail, “[i]n those times, regular beer was a bit tasteless, it was like liquid bread’”.
Who wants to drink liquid bread except for the person sitting to your left, dear reader?
Plus, changes keep in line with tradition, according to Father Stautemas, who said that that the monks of ancient times “kept on innovating” and thus “changed their recipe every ten years”.
Image Via UK Reuters
And this wasn’t their first rodeo. In 1950s the Order of Canons Regular of Premontre, located at Grimbergen Abbey in Belgium, were approached by local brewer Maes. Since then, the abbey has famously created and worked with commercial brewers to “to use the Grimbergen name and emblem on its ‘abbey beer’.”
The ale won’t be available for mass consumption until the late 2020s, but maybe that’s a good thing. The Daily Mail warns us to “be careful” because “the new ancient brew – at 10.8 per cent alcohol content it’s likely to blow your cassock off.”
Personally, I’d take my chances
Featured Image Via The Guardian