In 1664 in La Trappe Abbey, Normandy, France, a religious reform movement began. Monks who were dismayed by the relaxation of rules formed the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. The went back to the original monastic rules of St. Benedict.
The 48th Rule of St Benedict states ‘for then are they monks in truth, if they live by the work of their hands’ and the OCSO set out early on to devote themselves to excellence in what they did. They made goods for sale, including cheese, bread, clothing etc. They hit the jackpot when they moved into brewing. OCSO is a bit of a mouthful, and so is the beer they made. They rebranded as “Trappists” and continue to make some of the best beers in the world.
Last night I nipped over to the barn and bottled up my latest brew. 12 litres of trappist style beer. A mahogany coloured ale, rich and malty, thick and foamy already even though it needs in bottle fermentation to condition it. I can’t wait till it’s ready.
There is a lot to be said for dedication to excellence in your work. Then again there’s more to be said for drinking beer.
Some people think Trappists take a vow of silence. This is not true. They just don’t waste words. It has all been said, but there is plenty left to drink.
Beer; by Charles Bukowski
I don’t know how many bottles of beer
I have consumed while waiting for things
to get better
I dont know how much wine and whisky
I have consumed after
splits with women-
waiting for the phone to ring
waiting for the sound of footsteps,
and the phone to ring
waiting for the sounds of footsteps,
and the phone never rings
until much later
and the footsteps never arrive
until much later
when my stomach is coming up
out of my mouth
they arrive as fresh as spring flowers:
“what the hell have you done to yourself?
it will be 3 days before you can fuck me!”
the female is durable
she lives seven and one half years longer
than the male, and she drinks very little beer
because she knows its bad for the figure.
while we are going mad
they are out
dancing and laughing
with horney cowboys.
well, there’s beer
sacks and sacks of empty beer bottles
and when you pick one up
the bottle fall through the wet bottom
of the paper sack
spilling gray wet ash
and stale beer,
or the sacks fall over at 4 a.m.
in the morning
making the only sound in your life.
rivers and seas of beer
the radio singing love songs
as the phone remains silent
and the walls stand
straight up and down
and beer is all there is.