Chico, CA — Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced a partnership with the Trappist-Cistercian
Abbey of New Clairvaux to create the only authentic Trappist-style Abbey ales in
For nearly 1000 years, monks have been brewing ales behind monastery walls.
Their closely guarded traditions and techniques produced styles of beer unlike
anything else in the world. These unique Trappist-style Abbey ales are known for
their uncompromising quality and compelling flavor.
In 2011, Sierra Nevada and the Trappist-Cistercian Abbey of New Clairvaux are
working to bring this centuries-old tradition to America with Ovila—the nation’s
only authentic Trappist-style Abbey Ale.
This series of three Belgian -style Abbey ales is made in accordance with the
centuries-old tradition of the monks. Each beer will be only be available for a
limited time and will rotate through the seasons. The first beer in the series,
scheduled for release in March, will be a Belgian-style Dubbel brewed with
authentic Trappist yeast. The second beer in the series, scheduled for release
in July, will be a Saison, the traditional Belgian-style farmhouse ale made in
honor of the Monk’s dedication to labor in the fields surrounding their abbey.
The third will be released in time for the holidays. It will be a Trappist-style
Quadrupel rich with dark fruit flavors and the unique wine-like characters of
these strong Abbey ales.
Proceeds from this project
will benefit the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux in their efforts to
rebuild an architectural marvel—a 12th century, early-gothic Cistercian
chapter house—on their grounds in Vina, California a few miles north of
Sierra Nevada’s home in Chico. The medieval chapterhouse—Santa Maria de
Ovila—was begun in 1190, near the village of Trillo, Spain. Cistercian monks
lived, prayed, and worked there for nearly 800 years. In 1931, California
newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst purchased the abbey and shipped it
to Northern California. Hearst’s plans were never realized, and the stones
fell into disrepair. In 1994, the Trappist-Cistercian monks of the Abbey of
New Clairvaux, gained possession of the ruins, and began the painstaking
stone-by-stone reconstruction of the historic abbey.
Located in Vina, California, the Abbey of New Clairvaux is a Cistercian
Abbey of Strict Observance (Trappist). The abbey was founded in 1955 on 590
acres of Leland Stanford’s famed Vina Ranch. The monks follow the Rule of
St. Benedict—Ora est Labora (Prayer and Work) and spend their days in
prayer, meditation, and tending to the labor of the working farm located at
Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of America’s first
microbreweries and remains highly regarded for using only whole-cone hops
and ingredients of the finest quality. Sierra Nevada has set the standard
for artisan brewers worldwide as a winner of numerous awards for their line
of beers and ales including the flagship Pale Ale, Torpedo, Porter, Stout,
Kellerweis, four seasonal beers, Estate Ale, Harvest Ale series and a host
of draft-only specialties.