Hotel Suppliers Interviews Co-Founder of Monastic Order, Brian Scarffe, to discuss their sustainable hotel wine and beer and its impact on spiritual hospitality. 

Can you provide an overview of Monastic Order’s unique approach to supplying sustainable hotel wine and beer, and how it aligns with the values and traditions of European monasteries?

At Monastic Order we are very conscious of minimising the environmental impact of our business taking our inspiration from the monasteries we supply from. This Influences the materials we use for re-packing and the delivery methods as well – for instance using cycle deliveries for shorter distances, but also working alongside other local businesses in order to collaborate for the benefit of the whole community.

How do the products sourced from European monasteries contribute to creating distinctive and memorable experiences for hotel guests, particularly in terms of gastronomy and culinary heritage?

Contemplative spirituality is increasingly fashionable today. People go on retreat to spa hotels and take part in yoga classes or mindfulness sessions, these same people would be delighted to know that the drinks they have on offer at their retreats are made in contemplative silence contributing to the holistic spiritual experience that people are searching for.

Sustainability is a growing concern in the hospitality industry. Could you elaborate on the sustainable practices and principles employed in the production and distribution of Monastic Order’s wine and beer for hotels?

They are few communities anywhere in the world today which are as environmentally responsible as Benedictine monasteries. The monks rarely if ever leave the monastery, so the fossil fuel footprint is extremely small. They live off food which they grow themselves and make their own clothes. The monks don’t contribute to wasteful consumerism of buying things they don’t need because they don’t own anything yet they have everything that they need. They also cultivate the lands around their monasteries to be filled with abundant life with small scale farming practices which increase biodiversity.

Can you share examples of hospitality establishments that have successfully integrated Monastic Order’s products into their offerings, and what feedback have they received from their guests?

We supply our beers to a fantastic bar in Soho, the Thin White Duke, and we are beginning a collaboration with a London based steak restaurant chain. Both love the premium aspect of the beers as well as the backstory. Customers mention our drinks in their online reviews, strong evidence of the positive impact they have for the businesses.

Monastic traditions often emphasize craftsmanship and attention to detail. How does this philosophy translate into the quality and authenticity of the wine and beer offerings for hotels?

The products which the monks create are not made with the bottom line in mind. Without profit as the primary motive the monks are free to try and produce something for the sake of its own excellence, a labour of love. This might mean that they take much longer to develop the products – not held back by corporate deadlines – but also that they are not trying to create something temporarily fashionable, popular today and gone tomorrow.

What are you currently working on at Monastic Order?

We are currently working on expanding our range and have a number of exciting new products which we will introduce in Q4. Developing new suppliers from within European monasteries takes a lot of care.