No Corporate Beer Review: White

Beer: White
Brewery: Spencer Brewery (Spencer, MA)
Style: Wheat Beer – Witbier
5.2% ABV / N/A IBU

America’s only Trappist brewery was founded in 2013, but we’re just now getting a sense of what they are capable of doing. Part of this was by design, as Spencer stuck to its original business plan of spending its first five years of operation brewing only one beer in order to get a handle on the mechanics of brewing and production: This experiemtn yielded the brewery’s flagship Trappist Ale. a slightly boozier version of the traditional patersbier, meant to keep monks merry while answer a higher calling from Gambrinus.

Since 2018, they have significantly expanded their line-up of offerings with a bunch of styles that aren’t exactly Trappist hallmarks, including multiple IPAs, a high gravity imperial stout, and solid pilsner and Vienna lager offerings. Still, almost 10 years in and no dubbel or tripel? Maybe Spencer is committed to leaving those styles to the Belgian masters, but at least the brewery’s new witbier is a Belgian style with a long and storied history—albeit not a traditional Trappist brew.

As for Spencer’s White, it’s easily one of the best beers coming out of St. Joseph’s Abbey. It’s a top-fermented wheat ale brewed with orange peel, which is aromatic and slightly bitter. The nose is all floral and grassy, with the yeast-y smell of freshly baked bread that often accompanies wheat beers. Flavor-wise, it’s as mellow and unambiguous as a Hoegaarden, with a hint of ripe banana. Sure, Spencer has yet to produce anything on the level of Orval, Westmalle Trappist Dubbel, or even Chimay White, but Spencer White suggests a promising future. Check back in 150-200 years for confirmation.

For more info, check out Four Spencer Brewery here.