America’s Only Trappist Brewery Expanding Distribution To Michigan


Five beers brewed by monks will grace the Great Lakes state.

Trappist monk beer from Spencer Brewery, owned and operated by the Trappist monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts will soon be available in Oakland and Macomb counties. Spencer recently signed on with Powers Distributing of Orion Township to bring these craft beers to Michigan – one of only five states to carry the product. There are only 11 Trappist breweries in the world and Spencer is the first and only in the United States.

“The Trappists have excelled in the brewing process. Beer – or liquid bread – has been an integral part of Trappist monk diets for centuries,” said Gary Thompson, chief operating officer at Powers Distributing. “It is a real honor to bring and share their unique beer with Michigan.”

Launched in early 2014, Spencer beers have been well received by both connoisseurs and occasional beer drinkers. Known for their complexity and richness, Trappist beers are unfiltered and unpasteurized, preserving live yeast and complex carbohydrates in the bottle. The brews coming to Michigan include:

  • Spencer Trappist Ale, brewed with only four ingredients it is a full-bodied, golden-hued Trappist ale with fruity accents, a dry finish and light hop bitterness.
  • Spencer Trappist IPA, is a new, different, one-of-a-kind interpretation of the IPA that seeks to delicately blend all ingredients into a complex beer, with an engaging, harmonious, multi-layered flavor profile.
  • Trappist Feierabendbier (fire-ah-bend-beer) the perfect after work beer brewed in compliance with German Purity Law. It is a Trappist pilsner that is straw colored with a light, creamy head. Traditional noble German hops provide herbal notes, a floral nuance and the classic light closing bitterness.
  • Trappist Imperial Stout, a massive, roasted, malt-forward American Trappist take on the Anglo-Russo Imperial Stout tradition. Luxuriantly frothy foam, waves of coffee, chocolate and caramel sensations, a generous blend of dark fruit flavors.

Trappist Holiday Ale, mahogany in color, wholesome in body, lightly spiced, a heart-warming feast day ale.

Trappist monks follow the Benedictine counsel of ora et labora (pray and work), and for centuries have supported themselves by the work of their own hands, producing a variety products, including beer. All 11 Trappist breweries—Tre Fontane, Westmalle, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westvleteren,Achel, La Trappe, Stift Engelszell, Zundert, and Spencer—must operate in accordance with the strict rules set by the International Trappist Association, a nonprofit which ensures that the beers are brewed at the abbey, under the supervision of the monks, and that the profits provide for the needs of the monastic community and its charitable outreach. The Trappist name is a registered trademark, and beers can be identified by the hexagonal “Authentic Trappist Product” logo displayed on their labels.

For the monks, the release of the beer marks both the culmination of years of hard work, and an exciting new chapter in the 191 year-old story of their monastic community.

“We’re so grateful to expand our distribution to Michigan and be given the opportunity to share this labor of love with the world,” said Father Isaac Keeley, director of Spencer Brewery. “We hope by making this beer, we can both honor the centuries-old Trappist tradition, and contribute to this exciting time in American brewing history.”

Spencer beers are slated to arrive in Oakland and Macomb County stores by the end of November and before the Christmas holiday. Visit to find out where it is sold, or look for it at your favorite craft beer retailer.

About Powers Distributing Co.
Powers Distributing Co. Inc. is locally-owned and operated company that for four generations has been committed to providing consumers and retailers with expert inventory management of a large selection of the finest products, while ensuring product freshness, accountable marketing and sales, all while promoting the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages and working to maintain a greener, more sustainable environment. With more than 75 years of experience delivering beer, Powers Distributing earned Beverage World magazine’s 2014 Beer Wholesaler of the Year award and the National Beer Wholesaler’s Association’s 2011 Craft Beer Distributor of the Year award.

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