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Old 04-07-2011, 02:17 PM   #1
RedGuitar
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Default Beer & Monks

I know that there was a time when beer was brewed by monks. I've heard that Arthur Guinness started brewing his beer to provide an alternative to the whiskey and gin that was tearing Irish families apart. I think it's fascinating that for centuries there was a close connection between beer and religion, but in modern American culture, alcohol and faith are seen as polar opposites.

Any thoughts on this?

Are there still monks out there that brew beer?

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Old 04-07-2011, 02:21 PM   #2
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You bet. In fact 7 monasteries brew beer, and great beer at that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trappist_beer

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Old 04-07-2011, 02:36 PM   #3
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this guys is doing some kind of monk beer diet

"The Iowa newspaper editor and beer blogger is halfway through his quest to live on the “liquid bread” diet, a 300-year-old idea brewed up by German monks who did not eat during Lent. So far, Wilson says his fast has proven easier than he expected."

Source:
http://www.thestar.com/living/food/a...r-23-days?bn=1

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Old 04-07-2011, 03:21 PM   #4
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If you're at all interested in monastic brewing, buy and read "Brew Like A Monk"

http://www.brewlikeamonk.com/

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Old 04-07-2011, 11:13 PM   #5
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actually there are plenty of faiths that embrace alcohol as part of their faith even if they act like they don't (ever been to a Catholic mass?). Alcohol has a VERY long history with religion going back to the dawn of man's awareness of fermentation.

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Old 04-07-2011, 11:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theonetrueruss
actually there are plenty of faiths that embrace alcohol as part of their faith even if they act like they don't (ever been to a Catholic mass?). Alcohol has a VERY long history with religion going back to the dawn of man's awareness of fermentation.
My wife and I attend the local greek orthodox church every now and then (she is 2nd generation american, grandfather came over through Ellis island, actually found his name on the Ellis island website's ship manifest archive, kinda cool). Anyway, last time we attended, they had posters up announcing an upcoming Greek dance. At the bottom, in large letters: byob
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:25 PM   #7
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I find it quite amusing that folks give up beer for Lent...Monks actually drank beer during Lent as a replacement for the meat they gave up!!!!

Heck there was even a style of beer brewed for lent.

Quote:

"Doppelbock emerged in the late eighteenth century as a powerful lager variant of the old monastic strong beer, the monks' "liquid bread," which they traditionally brewed for the Lenten season. Living by the strict rules of their order, the monks were regularly required to castigate themselves by periodic bouts of fasting, when next to no solid food was allowed to pass their lips. The longest and most taxing of these periods of culinary abstinence was, of course, Lent, the 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Because the monks believed that liquids not only cleansed the body but also the soul, they would make plenty of liquid instead of solid bread from their grain, and then drink it in copious quantities...the more, the holier. Because the monks were society's role models in those religious times...as did the monks so did the common folk. The secular verson of the sacred strong bier was called a Bockbier.

The first Lenten strong beer was brewed by Paulaner monks at Cloister Neudeck ob der Au in Munich. The Paulaners had arrived in Munich from Italy in 1627. They began brewing beer for their own comsumption shortly thereafter—exactly when is not clear. Depending on which documents one can trust, the year was 1630, 1651 or 1670. The Paulaners felt, however, that such a strong brew with such delightful qualities might be just a bit too much of an indulgence for Lent. So they decided to ask the Holy Father in Rome for a special dispensation so that they could continued to brew it with a clear conscience. The Paulaners dispatched a cask of Lenten beer to Rome for the pope to try and to pass judgment. During its transport across the Alps and along the burning sun of Italy, unfortunately—or fortunately—the cask tossed and turned, and heated for several weeks—a classic condition for causing beer to turn sour and undrinkable. So when the Holy Father tasted the much-praised stuff from Munich, he found it (appropriately) disgusting. His decision: Because the brew was so vile, it was probably beneficial for the souls of the Munich monks to make and drink as much of it as they could. Therefore, he willingly gave the brewing of this new, allegedly rotten, beer style his blessing. Little did he know..."
From http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/Doppelbock.html

And don't forget, what was Jesus' first miracle?

(FYI- we have to tread lightly here, lest this thread end up closed or move to the debate forum- where some of us refuse to go....Let's try to keep it about the history and contemporary spiritual uses of alcohol and not a religious debate.)
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theonetrueruss View Post
actually there are plenty of faiths that embrace alcohol as part of their faith even if they act like they don't (ever been to a Catholic mass?). Alcohol has a VERY long history with religion going back to the dawn of man's awareness of fermentation.
I can't remember all my Christian history from Seminary, but I think it was the Anabaptists that were the first denomination to eschew alcohol....

There were some Jewish sects that didn't drink. I can't remember which but was it the Zealot's (simon) or the sicarii (what we call Iscariots {Judas}) were anti alcohol.

But yeah there is a HUUUUGEEE history of Spirituality and alcohol, going back to the first recorded beer recipe- The Hymn to the Goddess Ninkasi.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:36 PM   #9
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This is cool...

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In the history of Christianity, alcoholic prohibition is a relatively new idea. In fact, alcohol was a normal part of life. In Colonial America, the Puritans expected Christians to drink (Hearn, 1943). In the 1700s, a Baptist minister created the formula for bourbon whiskey (Hailey, 1992). During the 1800s, many Southern ministers operated stills, and sold alcohol (Hearn, 1943). Parishioners who owned stills would tithe their alcohol; and preachers' salaries often included whiskey. All this began to change, however, as the Temperance movement took shape (Hailey, 1992).

The idea that alcohol was dangerous was not new, though. In 600 B.C. Pathagoras noted, "drunkenness is an expression identical with ruin." In 44 B.C., Cicero wrote, "a sensual and intemperate youth hands over a worn-out body to old age," when he drinks to excess. Centuries later, Muhammed declared, "there is a devil in every berry of the grape" (Hearn, 1943). In fact, Islam has a total prohibition of alcohol, proclaiming drinking a sin (Parshall, 1989). Chaucer wrote in A.D. 1380, "character and shame depart when wine comes in." Clearly, for thousands of years, men have known of the dangers of alcohol. Knowledge about the dangers of alcohol stopped few from drinking, however. Jesus not only drank, his first miracle was turning water to wine; and he used wine as a symbol of the salvation through his blood (Hearn, 1943; Jn 2; Lk 22:20).

For Southern Baptists, too, alcohol was a part of life. That is until the Temperance movement began to infiltrate the religious denominations in America. Finally, in 1896, the Southern Baptist Convention officially denounced alcohol and asked that churches excommunicate anyone who sold or drank alcohol. For the first time in Southern Baptist history, drinking was considered immoral. The success of this measure is debatable. A Southern Baptist study has shown that in the 1990s, 46 percent of members drink alcohol (Hailey, 1992).

Investigation shows that although people knew of the danger in alcohol, throughout history, Christian prohibition is a new, and rather American, phenomenon. The decisions of churches to abstain came out of the American Temperance movement. David Hailey, though supporting the SBC's resolution, admits that biblical support for abstinence was an after-thought. Christians had decided, for social reasons, that alcohol was wrong. Only then, did they turn to the Bible to find support (Hailey, 1992).
(I kinda like that first paragrah....paid in hooch, eh? )

From ALCOHOLIC PROHIBITION IN SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCHES AND ITS IMPLICATION ON THE PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:54 AM   #10
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Several monestaries and convents in Germany still brew. And, they still brew doppelbock for the Starkbierfest during lent. My favorite is Kloster Andechs in Munich.

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