Stift-Engelszell is the only Trappist monastery in Austria, located in a remote northern corner of the country just across the Danube River from Germany. The abbey was first founded by the Cistercian order in 1293. The name Stift-Engelszell comes from the Latin name “Cella Angelorum,” meaning Angel’s Cell. The story of Stift-Engelszell is not unlike other European Catholic monasteries of its time in that it has witnessed tumultuous periods of outside interference based on the political climate of the day. Most notably, the abbey suffered considerably during the turbulent period of the Protestant Reformation. Engelszell flourished during the Counter-Reformation era. In 1746, Leopold Reichl, the last and greatest of Engelszell’s abbots of the Cistercian era, was appointed, and soon rebuilt its finances. Between 1754 and 1764, Leopold rebuilt the present-day abbey church in Rococo style. However, in 1786 Engelszell was dissolved by Austrian emperor Joseph II during a wave of secularization illustrating his contempt for the contemplative monastic orders.
In 1925, Stift-Engelszell was reestablished as a Trappist monastery by refugee German monks from the Oelenberg Abbey in Alsace, France. The Engelszell monastery first began as a priory, and was then elevated to abbey in 1931. Gregorious Eisvogel was appointed as the first abbot. In 1939, the abbey was confiscated by the Gestapo and the monks were evicted. Four of the monks were put in concentration camps; others were imprisoned or forced into military service. Less than half returned after the war to rebuild. The 23 monks who returned were bolstered by 15 ethnic German Trappist monks expelled from the Mariastern Abbey in Bosnia. Part of the abbey was converted into a nursing home during WWII which today is run by the Catholic relief organization Caritas. Today the community is comprised of nine monks and is headed by the abbot Pater Marianus Hauseder.
Stift-Engelszell Trappist Brewery
By the year 2009, there were only nine monks residing at Stift Engelszell, four of which were advanced in age. They survived primarily from the income generated from the liqueur and cheese they produced at the abbey. It was only in 2009 that the abbey secured ATP credentials for its liqueurs. By this time, the monastery was in fairly bad shape and the monks needed a way to increase revenue in order to keep their abbey going; liqueur and cheese alone simply were not enough to meet their mounting financial needs. They needed to finance the restoration of the entire monastery. Fortuitously, one of the brothers met Peter Krammer, the owner of a small, local, family-run brewery nearby. It was Mr. Krammer who suggested Stift-Engelszell begin making its own Trappist beers. The monks were amenable to the suggestion and asked Peter to help plan and install their brewery. With Peter’s help, they set up a 2,500 hectolitre brewery in an unused building near the monastery’s beehives. He started brewing 100 liter test batches trying to create beers that would be unique compared to the other Trappist breweries. In May of 2012, the International Trappist Association approved Stift-Engelszell to become the eighth Trappist brewery and the first outside of Belgium and the Netherlands.
Today, there are five brothers directly involved in the brewing process, along with five lay professionals employed by the community to help them. With their help, Stift-Engelszell’s brewhouse produces approximately 2,000 hectoliters annually. That makes Stift-Engelszell the smallest Trappist brand – the next largest, Achel, brews more than twice that amount. In addition to the brewery, Stift-Engelszell monastery also continues to produce cheese, liqueurs, honey, and chocolate.
「Stift-Engelszell｜天使聖地」修道院 & 釀酒廠：
「Stift-Engelszell」是奧地利唯一的熙篤會修道院，座落於多瑙河畔，早在1293年就有記載。名 稱是源於拉丁文「Cella Angelorum」，意思是天使棲息的地方。不同於歐洲其他歷史更悠久的修道院，它見證了宗教改革時期的顛僕流離。最燦爛的輝煌是在1746年接手修道 院的「Leopold Reichl」院長手中達到的，不僅花了10年時間，重新改建修道院成了今日洛可可的風格；其主事期間更讓修道院蓬勃發展了數十年，直到1786年，因宗 教世俗化影響下，被當時奧地利皇帝「約瑟二世｜Joseph II」下令解散。
這樣荒廢到1925年，「Stift-Engelszell」才由一群從法國亞爾薩斯（Alsace）修道院，逃避一戰而來的德國僧侶所重建，並緊跟著在 1931年被擢升為正式的修道院，時任院長就是「Gregorious Eisvogel」（酒廠第一款修道院啤酒命名的由來）。無獨有偶的不幸，在緊接著的二戰期間，修道院被納粹的蓋世太保沒收充公，修士們被驅離，大多被監 禁或被迫從軍，最淒慘的4名修士被關進集中營。戰後，只有不到一半，23名僧侶回歸，在另外15名德國熙篤會修道院修士的協助下重建了它。也因修道院在二 戰大戰時曾做為醫護所，至今一部分仍然由天主教救援組織所借用。現今的修道院是由9名修士所組成，目前的院長是「Pater Marianus Hauseder」。
至於修道院的釀酒史，倒不甚長久：在重建的1925年時才開始釀酒，但旋即在4年後因財務拮据而暫停；有趣的是，恰恰也是因急需資金來修繕修道院，讓修道 院重新燃起設立酒廠的動力。在鄰近的一間小型精釀啤酒廠「Brauerei Hofstetten｜赫弗斯坦酒廠」（以其赫弗斯坦花崗岩冰釀啤酒在世界聞名）老闆「Peter Krammer」的鼓勵與協助之下，重新建立了酒廠的設備與配方。也他協助下，「Stift-Engelszell」修道院在閒置的養蜂場附近蓋了一座年 產能2,500 hl的酒廠，並開始小批次試釀不同於現有修道院啤酒風味的啤酒。並在2012年5月，正式取得ITA 認可，ATP商標使用權，也是比利時及荷蘭外第一間獲得認證的修道院酒廠（世界第八間）。 直至今日，酒廠是由五位修士及五位民間專業釀酒人員一同釀造，年產約2000 hl，是現今產量最小的修道院酒廠（Achel次之，但產量仍為「Stift-Engelszell」的兩倍）。除了啤酒外，其實修道院仍也生產其它產 品。