Norbertine Brews

Abbeys have a long history of brewing beer. This past Michaelmas, St. Michael's Abbey continued this happy tradition.

In the Middle Ages, Michaelmas was a significant feast. In addition to being declared a holy day of obligation—a designation the solemnity enjoyed until the 18th century—Michaelmas marked the end of major harvests and signified the coming of fall, which made it a kind of holy harvest festival. Catholics would prepare for the solemnity with a short “St. Michael’s Lent,” and when Michaelmas finally arrived many Medievals took the holy day as a chance to celebrate the fruit of the land--and party! Towns hosted processions, unveiled the first beer of the fall, and cooked special feasts.

This past Michaelmas, the Norbertines of St. Michael's Abbey continued this happy tradition. In this ancient celebratory spirit (and motivated in gratitude to all those who support the Abbey) the Norbertines showcased three beers brewed specially for the Michaelmas feast: Rosa Mystica, an English Ale; Dolorosa, an Oatmeal Stout; and Domus Aurea, a Belgian Golden.

Patty Mahoney, a reporter from Orange County Catholic, recently wrote a lovely piece that interviews some of the community members responsible for making this past Michaelmas so festive! "The Norbertines who participate in the brewing project at the Abbey do it not just because they are interested in the process and steep tradition, writes Mahoney "...They also make beer to show gratitude."

You can read the full article on the OC Catholic Website.

All photos courtesy of Kiernan Coliflores, Diocese of Orange.

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