Father Karel Stautemas of Grimbergen Abbey announced the good news about reviving the nearly forgotten 220-year-old medieval beer. He made the announcement in the presence of the town’s mayor and a select group of journalists and enthusiasts. Details of the original ingredients and methods of preparation were available in the archives. However, it was all in old Latin and old Dutch and the monks had to invite volunteers who helped to decipher the vital information. It took four years of research to make the remarkable feat possible and beer-loving Belgians are happy.

The Guardian reports monks in the Norbertine monastery used to brew the medieval beer. It was in 1798 that French revolutionaries burnt it down. Subsequently, the monastery was rebuilt but there was no trace of the recipes. They were presumed to have been lost. Interestingly, some 12th-century books survived when the fathers secretly removed them before fire destroyed the abbey. These books contained details of the process and special additives that made the brew so special.

It took four years of hard work

While uncasking the first glass, Father Karel Stautemas mentioned about the project.

It involved four years of research into the methods employed by the monks of the Norbertine monastery before it was destroyed in the fire. The new product had 10.8 percent alcohol by volume and Stautemas cautioned that beer lovers must be careful of this aspect. Chris Selleslagh, the mayor of Grimbergen, added - “One or two is OK.”

The Guardian adds the location of the new microbrewery is the same as the original.

A detailed study of the 12th-century books helped to locate various ingredients and associated information like types of barrels and bottles used in the past. Stautemas lives at the abbey with 11 other monks and he revealed that monks in those days loved to innovate and kept changing their recipe regularly. The monastery has entered into a tie-up with carlsberg.

Interesting history of Grimbergen brewery

According to Independent UK, French troops ransacked the brewery in the 1790s. There were fears about the loss of the monks’ medieval recipes.

However, the Belgian monks have succeeded in making the beer after a lapse of 220 years. Credit for this goes to a team that was able to lay hands on a recipe dating back to the 12th-century. It was in the archives at the abbey located north of Brussels. The monks have obtained approval to produce their first batch of 10.8 percent ales by late 2020. Father Karel Stautemas said, “Brewing and religious life always came together.” Carlsberg is funding the project and plans to use locally produced crops.

These could include hops planted in the abbey’s garden. The monks will follow the rules of Belgium’s Trappist beer makers. This means brewing will be within the premises, and profits that accrue will go towards the maintenance of the abbey and will support charities.

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