HISTORY

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One of only three breweries in the United States owned and operated by monks, this Benedictine craft beer uses locally sourced hops grown on Abbey land and water from the monks' well. These include the Brewery's flagship beer, Black Habit, which has received an enthusiastic reception from the brewing community and beer lovers.

Brewers, beer writers, and craft beer judges captivated by the vision of a monastic brewery have volunteered their time, brewing suggestions, and business advice. A community timber raising, which took place in 2017, was an inspiring example of the communal nature of the project. The all-day affair involved more than 100 volunteers – including monks, seminarians, and staff from the Abbey, as well as members of the local town of Mt. Angel. The only break in the day's efforts was to gather for a prayer service in the brewery structure at noon followed by a traditional barbecue lunch. In the course of the brisk Saturday, what started as a bare concrete slab quickly became a structural frame with building blocks that defined the overall shape of the Brewery and Taproom. The frame was built from 14,000 board feet of Douglas fir harvested from the Abbey tree farm. It now serves as a welcoming place to gather, taste and believe.

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Fr. Martin Grassel

O.S.B. 

Fr. Martin, general manager of the brewery, has been at Mount Angel Abbey since he began seminary in 1995. Between duties as the Procurator (CFO) of the Abbey, he has been advancing his brewing and beer-tasting skills. Other monks lend their hands in the art of beer-making and on days of brewing or bottling.

A monastic tradition

St. Benedict envisioned monasteries as self-sufficient communities. In consequence, the Benedictines of the Middle Ages brewed in their own facilities, with their own labor, using ingredients grown on their own farms. In the complex world of the twenty-first century, the monks of Mount Angel strive for the same: the monks do the brewing; the water comes from their own well; and the hops come from their own land, where they have grown since the 1880's.