Sierra Nevada Ovila Abbey Ale Update
The label art is now complete and official release dates have been set. The news of this upcoming release has created much excitement and anticipation in the beer community.
Ovila Abbey Ales will closely follow the traditions established by centuries of monastic brewing. “Thirty years ago, I never thought we would be working with a monastery,” says Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “I first toured some of the Belgian abbey breweries in the 1980’s, and I’ve been fascinated with the beers ever since. It’s exciting for us to work on this project, and to experiment with these unique Belgian-inspired styles. The response so far has been great, and I can’t wait for the first release.”
The first beer in the Ovila series—a Belgian-style Abbey Dubbel—will be released from the brewery on March 1, 2011. The following beers in the series – a Saison farmhouse-style ale and an Abbey Quadrupel – will be released on July 1st and November 1st, respectively. These remarkable ales will be packaged in 750mL cage-and-cork bottles featuring artwork inspired by the historic Santa Maria de Ovila monastery.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these beers will go toward the restoration of the historic Ovila chapter house building on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, California, just a few miles north of Sierra Nevada’s home in Chico. This medieval chapter house was begun in 1190 near the village of Trillo, Spain. Monks lived, prayed, and worked there for nearly 800 years. In 1931, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst purchased the abbey, dismantled it stone-by-stone, and shipped it to Northern California. Hearst’s plans were never realized, and the stones fell into disrepair. In 1994, the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux gained possession of the ruins, and began the painstaking reconstruction of the historic abbey.
Ovila Abbey Ales are Belgian-style beers brewed in a centuries-old abbey tradition. These beers are an homage to the legendary monastic breweries, but are not Trappist beers—nor are they made in connection with the member breweries of the International Trappist Association (I.T.A) headquartered in Belgium.###