Leicestershire monks brew Britain’s first Trappist beer

Source: The Guardian

Religion Correspondent

For most of the past 183 years, the Trappist monks of the Mount St Bernard monastery in rural Leicestershire were dairy farmers, selling their milk to fund a quiet, rhythmic existence of prayer and contemplation.

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But in 2013 they were forced to face reality. The low price of milk and changes in agricultural production methods meant they could no longer make the small profit they had relied on for modest living expenses and to maintain their historic abbey.

One morning before dawn, the monks loaded their beloved cows on to lorries and sent them off to market. It was the end of an era. But they still needed to generate an income. Now, five years after saying goodbye to their cattle, the Mount St Bernard community is on the eve of a new business venture. Instead of producing milk, the monks are making beer.

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