Name: Abbey Beverage Co.
Location: Brewed on a small scale at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in Abiquiu, New Mexico and “under special agreement” in Moriarty, New Mexico.
Type: Production brewery
Available in DC Market: No
What you need to know: When The Abbey Beverage Co. began brewing in 2006, their annual production was 127 barrels. In 2011, their annual production was 930 barrels. Monks’ Ale and Monks’ Wit (their SAVOR offerings) are distributed in Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. According to their site, “Expansion plans are underway for Maryland, the District of Columbia, and northern Virginia.” Also per their site “The Benedictine monks of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert (a not-for-profit corporation) control 84 % of the Abbey Beverage Company (a for-profit LLC) through a separate for-profit corporation, St. Luke’s Corporation. This legal structure was established to both assure that all taxes are paid by the brewery, and to preserve the not-for-profit status of the Monastery. The monks of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert thus own and exercise control over all aspects of Abbey Beverage Company.”
Beer #1: Monks’ Ale
Paired with Fava bean tapenade ricotta salata and cracker crisp
Beer Advocate: 81 (57 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 54 Overall, 53 Style
Notes: This Belgian-style pale ale is an excellent offering for any first-timers attending SAVOR. A tiny bit in the way of phenols but not really a “yeasty” beer, a good malt presence and an ever-so-slight kiss of hops makes this closer to a table beer in flavor profile than a yeast-driven Belgian pale. This is a solid offering from Abbey, one that will compliment the tapenade and ricotta nicely.
Beer #2: Monks Wit
Paired with Citrus cured salmon, grapefruit and pistachio cream cheese
Beer Advocate: 81 (57 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 24 Overall, 18 Style
Notes: This Belgian-style wit is brewed with classic ingredients like coriander, sweet and bitter orange peel, and unmalted wheat and oats. With a bubbly effervescent this beer was designed for the summer heat of New Mexico. This hazy ale will pair well with the citrusy salmon and grapefruit pistachio cream cheese.
Summary: Abbey Beverage Co. rightfully claims on its label “made with prayer and care” I don’t think any other SAVOR brewery can claim that in the same vein that Abbey does. With that said, it’s going to be a rough go for the Belgian-style pale and Belgian-style wit when they’re competing for palate space. Just to name a few breweries bringing a wit or Belgian pale: Allagash, DC Brau, Devil’s Backbone, and Ommegang. On the upside…it’s great company for Abbey to be in!
This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2012 SAVOR participants.
Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.