Mount St. Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire will be the first Trappist brewery in the United Kingdom and the 12th in the world. The monks have received approval from the local district council to convert a defunct dairy farm into a new brewery. Once completed the brewery needs to be accredited by the International Trappist Association (ITA), a non-profit association which was created in 1997 among other things to protect the name Trappist. According to the rules Trappist beer are brewed exclusively within the walls or in the vicinity of a Trappist monastery in accordance with the direction of the community and in accordance to their rule and intended solely as a secondary venture to support the monastery, its monks and their social work.
From the 175 Trappist monasteries around the world, which are allowed to use the name Trappist name for products like beer, wine, liqueurs, cheese, bread, cookies, chocolate, honey and jam, only 20 monasteries belong to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. Only those are allowed to sell an Authentic Trappist Product and to use the ATP label, which is up to date mostly awarded for beer.
Six of the eleven active Trappist breweries are located in Belgium, two in the Netherlands and one in Austria, USA and Italy each. Four of the latter have opened in the past five years in the wake of the craft beer movement and the resurgence in Trappist brewing. Best known are the “traditional” Belgium Trappist breweries of Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren, Chimay and Orval, with most of them are hundreds of years old.
Mount St Bernard is the only abbey belonging to the Trappist order left in England and therefore the only one able to apply for the Trappist label. In 2012, the Benedictine community at Ampleforth in Yorkshire revived the long tradition of monastic brewing in the British Isles; brewing the first abbey beer in UK since the Reformation.