Cider-making monks revive 200-year-old beer
Exiles took the recipe to France and flourished on ‘La bière Anglaise’. Now they’re back in Yorkshire, and so is the drink
Chuffed by the success of their apple orchard, which has grown to more than 2,000 trees and 70 varieties of apple, the Benedictine community hopes to have £36 packs of 12 bottles of beer available by the end of June.
Known traditionally as ‘la bière Anglaise’, the brew is thought to date back to medieval times before the order was suppressed in England under Queen Elizabeth I, a time of repeated panics over potential invasion by Catholic powers supported by recusant English followers of the ‘old religion.’ It assumed its French name via the loyalty of exiled monks, who brewed it in France while their French colleagues made related experiments which led in due course to the 19th century’s Benedictine liqueur.