Indeed, the scarcity of the existing documentation limits modern historiography in determining the precise origins of the abbey.
Some researchers claim that it could probably have existed as early as the 8th century. Ancient Benedictine historians considered the monastery to be the first of their order founded in Spain.
From the 13th century, Cardeña was part of the Congregation of the Benedictine cloister of the province of Toledo, until its incorporation into the Congregation of Saint Benedict of Valladolid in 1502. There it remained until 1835, when the laws of confiscation of part of the property of the clergy, and of suppression of all religious orders, were passed by Álvarez Mendizábal in Spain.
From 1836 to 1942, the monastery of Cardeña was deprived of its monks and of its monastic life. During this long period of 106 years, the Castilian monastery served almost everything, except what had been its original purpose!
In 1862, the Benedictine order tried on several occasions to recover it in order to establish an active monastic life there. But both attempts, the first in 1862 and the second in 1880, failed because they could not dispose of the land intended for cultivation, making it impossible for the monks to survive.
In 1888, the Piarist Fathers occupied its facilities, which they again abandoned in 1901. An attempt with the same result occurred in 1905, due to a group of French Capuchin friars expelled from Toulouse, who again abandoned it in 1921.
After several attempts at recovery, its abandonment ended in 1933, with the foundation of a Cistercian community in the monastery of San Isidro de Dueñas in Palencia. However, the definitive establishment of this community did not take place until April 29, 1942, due to the Spanish civil war, during which it was unfortunately transformed into a concentration camp for prisoners from late 1936 to early 1940.
Raised in priory on October 1, 1945 and autonomous on January 30, 1946, the community of the monastery was definitively consolidated. Finally, in 1948, the monastery obtained the title of abbey.
On March 16, 2016, a new beer was presented to the Spanish press: Cardeña Tripel. The abbey initiated the process of becoming the 12th official Trappist brewery.
The recipe was developed by Scottish brewer Bob Maltman in cooperation with Belgian beer expert Erick Coene. Together, they created the recipe under the guidance of the monks.
The Abbey of San Pedro is already a member of the International Trappist Association (ITA) and sells wine, alcohol and other products that bear the famous hexagon. They are sold on site at the abbey and through their web portal.
The beer, Cardeña Tripel, is now available on site and on their online store as well.
Currently, the beer is produced in Madrid at the Fabrica de Cervezas MarPal. According to Trappist rules, the beer must be brewed in the abbey wall to become a Trappist beer bearing the "Authentic Trappist Product" logo.
Cardeña will continue to batch and sell offsite while simultaneously setting up a small brewery onsite. Once the brewery is complete, they will transfer production to the abbey and officially present their beer to the ATI.
Cardea Tripel is a Belgian-style Triple Blonde of 7% ABV.