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Monday, August 09, 2010

The Abbey Ales of Sierra Nevada and New Clairvaux

Here's a fascinating development, via Beer News:
In 2011, Sierra Nevada and the Trappist-Cistercian Abbey of New Clairvaux are working to bring this centuries-old tradition to America with Ovila—the nation’s only authentic Trappist-style Abbey Ale.
A dubbel, saison, and quadrupel are slated to be released seasonally, with proceeds going to the California abbey. These won't, apparently, be authentic Trappist ales. Sierra Nevada will actually brew them--resulting in "abbey" ales. Before you dismiss it as a gimmick, though, check out the project these beers will fund:

Proceeds from this project will benefit the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux in their efforts to rebuild an architectural marvel—a 12th century, early-gothic Cistercian chapter house—on their grounds in Vina, California a few miles north of Sierra Nevada’s home in Chico. The medieval chapterhouse—Santa Maria de Ovila—was begun in 1190, near the village of Trillo, Spain.

Cistercian monks lived, prayed, and worked there for nearly 800 years. In 1931, California newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst purchased the abbey and shipped it to Northern California. Hearst’s plans were never realized, and the stones fell into disrepair. In 1994, the Trappist-Cistercian monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux, gained possession of the ruins, and began the painstaking stone-by-stone reconstruction of the historic abbey.


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