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Belgian Monks Start Brewing Beer Again 200 Years Later After France Ransacked Their Abbey

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Belgian monks from Grimbergen abbey plan to rebuild their brewery destroyed over 200 years ago and once again begin producing beer.

Local councils in Belgium approved the plan to rebuild the brewery on Monday, according to Reuters. These Belgian monks produced beer from their brewery in Grimbergen since the 13th century, but the brewery was smashed by French troops in 1795. The abbey itself was founded in 1128, Reuters reports.

“For us, it’s important to look to the heritage, to the tradition of the fathers for brewing beer because it was always here,” Father Karel Stautemas told Reuters Tuesday.

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Monks will take a course at the Scandinavian School of Brewing in Copenhagen in 2019 to prepare for the new brewing, and the brewery will begin producing ale in 2020, according to Reuters.

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“Brewing and religious life always came together,” said prospective brewer Father Karel, one out of the eleven Norbertine canons living in the abbey.

The monks will follow the rules of the Trappist order regarding brewing beer: they will brew solely at the abbey, control the brewing themselves, and use the profits gained from the beer for abbey maintenance and charity.

“We will keep the same yeast, which will bring all the fruitiness and spiciness and we will start to dig into more innovations, such as barrel-aging, dry-hopping,” said Marc-Antoine Sochon, the project’s brewmaster and an expert at Carlsberg. Sochon said that the rebuilt brewery will make limited editions of beer sold under the Grimbergen name.

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