Echourgnac

Abbey & Brewery
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In 1868, a colony of Trappists, coming from La Trappe du Port du Salut (Mayenne), came to Echourgnac to found the monastery of Our Lady of Good Hope.

The country, called "La Double," was austere and unsanitary. The Fathers first applied themselves to clearing the moors, and then, to meet their needs, set up a cheese factory.

The country quickly changed its appearance, and this corner of Périgord, until then unproductive, became fruitful thanks to these monks.

The existence of a brewery is indicated by a testimony from the review "Littell's living age", vol 84 of November 1893. (see also "Beer Et Seq")

We can read there about Mr. Barker, visitor of the abbey in 1893: "He was greeted with a drink by the porter on his arrival - the beer was served from a stoneware pot - and he gave him some. been bottled a number of times during his stay, including with every meal. While Barker seems to have liked beer in general, we realize that he was a little surprised to have received beer so often, " monastic barley wine "is what he called it. At one point he insists that some of his interlocutors have an ulterior motive - their own refreshment, no doubt. Barker n He disliked the brew at first, describing it as "yellow" and in another passage resembling pea soup. He also called it "thick and coarse," a Shakespeare term (Macbeth). "coarse" in his mouth meant "sticky, thick". "

The religious persecution following the laws of 1901 and 1905, which had caused so many convents to disappear, did not reach the Echourgnac monks. But, following the improvidence of the last prior, Dom Benoît Joseph, the religious had to disperse. There were twelve of them, including the lay brothers. They were sent to various Trappes: Aiguebelle, Port du Salut.

Religious life resumed on July 22, 1923, thanks to the company which had acquired the lands of La Trappe d'Echourgnac. Trappistines still live and ripen cheese there.