Sisters Brewin' It For Themselves: Beer-Making Nuns

Or, Nun is the Loneliest Number: Sister Doris, the Last Beer-Making Nun in Europe.

I can't decide. So many good nun puns!

Now that I've composed myself, let's learn about a couple women who have made names for themselves in the European brewing community: Sister Doris of Mallersdorf Abbey and Anne-Francois Pypaert the female Trappist brewmaster.

Sister Doris has been a brewmaster for over 45 years. I think we would be hard pressed to find many other brewers in the world with that kind of experience. Sister Doris originally wanted to work in agriculture, but since an agricultural program was not available at her convent, she studied brewing instead and began her apprenticeship in 1966.  Her abbey, Mallersdorf Abbey, is over 900 years old and had a brewing charter almost 400 years ago. The abbey is located in lower Bavaria.

The brewhouse at Mallersdorf Abbey makes around 3,000 hectoliters a year, or a little under 80,000 gallons if you live in the United States, Liberia, or Myanmar and can't be bothered to learn the metric system. Brew days for Sister Doris start at 3:30 a.m. She brews seasonal beers, including a maibock, a dopplebock, a dark zoigl, and a lager. She considers beer the "purest of all alcoholic beverages" so long as you don't "pour it down senselessly."

Thirsty to try Sister Doris's beer? You'll have to make a trip to Mallersdorf Abbey, which is the only place it's available.

You can learn more about Sister Doris here and here.

Anne-Francoise Pypaert* is the head brewmaster at Brasserie d'Orval, colloquially known as Orval, and has been since 2014. Orval is one of the only remaining Trappist breweries in the world. Prior to becoming the first female brewmaster of a Trappist brewery, Anne-Francoise had been the Director of Quality Control at the brewery since 1995.

Anne-Francoise Pypaert.jpg

Anne-Francoise has worked at Orval since she graduated from college in 1992. She had never tasted Orval until a day or two before her interview. Besides being the brewmaster, Anne-Francoise is also the head of production for Orval's cheese factory. While you can find Orval in many places, you can only find their cheeses in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands.

You can learn more about Anne-Francoise Pypaert here.

*Technically, Anne-Francoise Pypaert is not a nun, but I included her here anyway because it's my blog and I wanted to. Know how many fucks I give if you want to get pedantic about it? NUN.