Now, the monks have announced a special project that will help them rebuild: Leffe, a Belgian brewery, has agreed to partner with the monks for a special edition brew, the proceeds of which will go directly to the monks’ new monastery.
“Leffe beer, one of the most highly prized beers of Belgium and brewed in the monastic tradition, launched a special limited-edition brew with Birra Nursia, our own beer, as a joint label with Leffe Blonde,” the monks announced online.
“While the two beers, Leffe and Birra Nursia, remain distinct, the Nursia name on the Leffe Blonde bottle signifies the shared commitment of the two breweries: to rebuild Norcia and bring hope to the tragedy-stricken region.”
The 100,000 bottles of the special edition brew will only be available for distribution in Italy, and will directly fund the new wooden chapel, “which is not just for the monks, but is open to all those thirsting after God,” the monks noted.
Leffe beer itself has monastic roots. Norbertine canons of the Leffe abbey had been brewing beer in the town for centuries, until the French revolution resulted in the abandonment and destruction of the brewery. In the 1950s, determined not to let the brewing tradition die, the abbey’s Father Abbot Nys met master brewer Albert Lootvoet, and an agreement was struck.
Shortly after, the Leffe brewery was back in full effect, today under the ownership of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Some of the proceeds of the beer still support the Leffe monastery.