Monks get back in brewing habit after 450 years

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MONKS in Yorkshire have revived a tradition of brewing that dates back to the reformation, with the launch of what is believed to be Britain’s first monastic beer for 450 years.

The Benedictine monks who founded Ampleforth Abbey, in the North York Moors, first started brewing in France after being driven out of England during the 1530s.

The drink they produced was the first beer of its kind – la bière anglaise – to be brewed in France.

Such was the appeal of the strong fizzy beer that the Duke of Lorraine gave the order to channel a spring directly to the brewery in the monastery and to create the first ever water reservoir in France.

However, in 1792 the monks were expelled after the French Revolution and returned to England to set up residency at Ampleforth, where the abbey was founded in 1802.

Now, following a long-running project in conjunction with the Little Valley Brewery in West Yorkshire to restore the tradition, the first brew of Ampleforth Abbey Beer has been bottled and will be ready for purchase from the second week in July.

Procurator of Ampleforth Abbey Father Wulstan Peterburs said: “We are delighted with the final product and we hope people will enjoy our bière anglaise.”