Austrian Trappist. Stift Engelszell Benno

“Trappist”… a word that inspires beer lovers to dream… A magic word that points to high quality, ensured by the ATP – Authentic Trappist Product – logo, which only ten breweries in the world are currently allowed to use.

The Engelszell monastery’s brewery (in Upper Austria) reached this garden of Eden in 2012, while the monastery, founded in the 13th century, counted no more than seven Cistercian monks. They concoct cheese, a liqueur that’s famous in the country (Magenbitter), honey, and two ATP beers: Gregorius and Benno.

This Benno is the least alcoholic (6.9% ABV). Often described as a Saison, it’s rather a Belgian pale ale, while it’s true it contains some Saison ale yeast. This beer is produced with local honey whose fragrance mixes with the Brettanomyces. Soft at first, it proves to be more bitter than expected. What we have here on the palate is very distinctive and unlike anything else. Thick and chewy, this Benno is a definite must-try.