The award winning beer from Ampleforth Abbey’s Benedictine monks returns to the shores of France centuries after they began brewing there. Named “Yorkshire’s Best Drink” by the Deliciously Yorkshire organisation it has now begun to make a “magnifique” impression across the Channel.

Thousands of bottles of Ampleforth Abbey Beer ““ Britain’s only monastic ale ““ have been bought by one of France’s leading beer distributors, International Breweries & Beers (IBB). Gallic palates can now enjoy a glass of the strong (7.0%) beer with their cheese and pâté or to celebrate Le Tour de France before it comes to Yorkshire next year.

The beer has also been chosen to represent Yorkshire’s food and drink at a reception in the British Ambassador’s Residence in Paris on July 21st to celebrate the end of this year’s Tour and its start in Yorkshire in 2014. Handpicked as one of six companies to share their produce with VIPs after the race finishes on the Champs d’Elysees, it’s a resounding “Santé or “Cheers” for the unique ale.

Father Terence, the Prior of Ampleforth Abbey, pointed out what a good partnership the beer and France make.

“There’s a unique link that makes the beer perfect for our continental neighbours. The history of Benedictine monks includes being driven to France from England at the time of the Reformation. Determined to survive, the monks needed income. ”

“They did this by brewing the first beer of its kind in France ““ la bière anglaise ““ .Made with hops and barley, then ‘double-fermented’ it was strong and ‘sparkled like champagne’.

Their brew became famous far and wide, being enjoyed by the seigneurs of the realm. It received patronage from Louis XIV, the Sun King and his successor Louis XV. That is, until the Revolution of 1789 when, like the French King himself, the beer lost its head.

Father Terence continued “The monks managed to escape back to England, and thankfully they brought with them the recipe for the beer, the secret of which had never been revealed. And we’ve based our modern brew on that recipe. ”
Monks involve themselves heavily in the beer operations and carefully selected Little Valley Brewery in West Yorkshire as their brewer .However Father Terence said “If we get to a level where the sales are very, very good we may look at bringing brewing to the monastery and making the beer onsite”

Ampleforth Abbey also produces cider, brandies, fruit flavoured gins, and apple liqueur.

Photo attached shows Father Terence, Prior of Ampleforth Abbey, with French tricolor and some of the beer about to be shipped to France