Belgian monks resurrect 220-year-old beer after finding the recipe.
Grimbergen Abbey brew incorporates methods found in 12th-century books.
Father Karel Stautemas: ‘We had the books with the old recipes, but nobody could read them.’ Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters
It has taken more than 220 years but an order of monks at Grimbergen Abbey, producers of a fabled medieval beer whose brand was adopted by mass producers in the 1950s, have started to brew again after rediscovering the original ingredients and methods in their archives.
In a sign of the significance of the news for beer-loving Belgians, the announcement was made by the Abbey’s subprior, Father Karel Stautemas, in the presence of the town’s mayor and 120 journalists and enthusiasts.
Uncasking the first glass, Stautemas said the development was the culmination of four years of research into the methods of monks that brewed beer in the Norbertine monastery before it was burned down by French revolutionaries in 1798. The monastery was later reinstated but the brewery and its recipes were thought to be lost.
Stautemas admitted it might be best not to drink too much of the newly produced beer, which is 10.8% alcohol by volume. “One or two is OK,” said Chris Selleslagh, the mayor of Grimbergen, a town six miles north of Brussels.
Grimbergen Abbey brew incorporates methods found in 12th-century books