Drinking on the Last Frontier: Beer plus cheese? Please!

“When looking back into the history of beer and brewing, one thing that you notice almost immediately is the strong monastic connection.”

The Mouth of The Kenai

By Bill Howell, for the Redoubt Reporter

When looking back into the history of beer and brewing, one thing that you notice almost immediately is the strong monastic connection. For centuries, monks in Western Europe were famous for their skill as brewers, thanks to the rule of St. Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism, which called for monks to live by the fruits of their own labor.

Even today, in our essentially secularized world, the beers produced by the Trappist monks of Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria are still considered some of the finest beers in existence.

However, there is another type of food besides beer that also has a long monastic tradition — cheese. Some of the same monasteries that are famous for their beers are also celebrated for the excellent artisanal cheeses they produce. Just as craft beer, brewed in small batches using traditional ingredients and methods, has…

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