The area around the northern California town of Chico has been notorious, for decades, as fertile ground for marijuana farms.
But if some trappist monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux have their way, the region's reputation as a beer maker may surpass that perception.
In partnership with Sierra Nevada beer (who's headquarters is 20 miles south of the abbey), an "abbey ale" will be released in three varieties next winter, summer and fall, and pay tribute to the renowned Trappist beers of Europe.
The brew will not use the "Trappist" name, as that brand is heavily guarded by a group of seven Trappist monasteries in Belgium and Holland who own the trademark "Trappist beer."
The term "Abbey beer" will have to do for the Chico monks.
The monks have an honorable mission in entering into the beer-making business.
You see, they want to build a new abbey using stones they've acquired from a Spanish monastery.
Proceeds from the ale will go toward building the abbey. The stones are from the rubble of an ancient monastery about 90 miles northeast of Madrid. They traveled from Madrid to Northern California thanks to the robber barron William Randolph Hearst who took the stones to build the foundation of one of his private residences. Hearst transported the stones in 1931, but never got around to using them.
The ale will be called Ovila, in a nod to the Santa Maria de Ovila monastery in Madird, and the name of the new project at New Clairvaux.
Source: The Los Angeles Times