May 27, 2015 by Stephane
Big news in the world of trappist beers! An Italian beer that goes by the name of Tre Fontane received recognition as being an “authentic Trappist product”. This happened around the beginning of May, bringing the total number of official Trappist beers to 11. This is the first Italian trappist beer, hailing from the Tre Fontane abbey in Rome.
Apart from beer, the abbey also produces typical Italian olive oil as well as honey, chocolate and liquor. The official Trappist organisation received an application from the monastery to recognise their beer and after a brief visit to the abbey the beer received recognition.
The Tre Fontane monks had been producing beer for a while, but in facilities outside the abbey’s walls. Trappist rules say that for a beer to be officially recognised, it should be brewed inside the walls of the abbey. The monks asked the advice of the official trappist association and eventually set up their own microbrewery, which, after an audit led to their recognition.
Tre Fontane is a high fermentation beer, having an alcohol percentage of 8,5%ABV and is brewed according to the tradition of the monks living at the abbey. There’s a slightly sweet after taste which is attributed to the presence of eucalyptus. Thanks to this “soft” touch, it’s a refreshing beer despite its relatively high alcohol content. The hops’ bitterness keeps the taste in balance.
Some reports mention a yearly output of just 1000 hectoliters, other reports mention double that. Furthermore the beer only seems to be for sale at the abbey and at a few shops in Rome itself. I'm doing my best to track some down!