An invisible hand guides Adam Smith to the shade of Saint Sixtus Abbey.
This summer, England got its first certified Trappist ale. While not yet perfect, it already shows signs that it will honour Belgian abbey ale traditions in an authentically English accent – confident in its own quiet authority.
With an odd 3.7kg of Pilsner malt in my cellar and a three-month-old Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II in my fridge, it was time to brew up a small portion of the beer style I return to most often - the Strong, Dark Abbey Ale.
The Reichsparteitage schedule of drinking, communal singing, political speeches and celebration of the Volksgemeinschaft was an amplified version of an evening in Munich’s beerhalls in the 1920s and 30s.
The pungent, earthy rind of a Saint Nectaire and the startling acetic bite of Duchesse de Bourgogne ensured that this journey into a wildernesses of flavour was not for the faint-hearted.