For beer enthusiasts who like some holy with their spirits, the new issue of Spirituality & Health features instructions on how to properly enjoy a traditional Trappist beer. Authentic Trappist goods—such as bread, cheese, and ale—are made at abbeys by monks and nuns (usually Roman Catholic), and often sold to support monasteries or charities.
Thanks to Madeline Scherb, author of A Taste of Heaven: A Guide to Food and Drink Made by Nuns and Monks, a user’s manual now exists for the finest in Trappist wares.
Here are few of Scherb's tips:
As any beer connoisseur will tell you, fine ales should be enjoyed at room temperature. Resist the urge to pop open a cold one—flavor components generally peak at 59 degrees.
Trappist beers are made from living yeasts, so they get better with age.
Accept no imitations—real Trappist goods carry an “Authentic Trappist Product” label.
Source: Spirituality & Health (full text not available online), International Trappist Association, A Taste of Heaven: A Guide to Food and Drink Made by Nuns and Monks