By Mary DeTurris Poust
For those of you who have put down your beer mugs and wine glasses in the spirit of the Lenten season, you may want to rethink that plan. Turns out some 17th century monks in Germany came up with a super potent, super dark, super nutritious brew specifically for this season of fasting when they had to forego food. If you can't eat a meal, then drink one was sort of their motto. And their creation is celebrated to this day during "strong beer season," known as the Starkbier Festival, which starts today in Munich and lasts until the day before Palm Sunday, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.
From the WSJ story:
"During Starkbierzeit, Muncheners sip earthenware steins of the dark, formidable suds to ward off winter's lingering chill—strong beer was originally concocted by 17th-century monks who drank it in place of solid food during Lent. The locals still call it their 'health tonic,' and, keeping with tradition, celebrate and imbibe it during these late-winter weeks.
"...Starkbier is actually a doppelbock, or double bock beer, which is heavy on malt. It was first brewed by way of a religious loophole of sorts: In the mid 1600s at Munich's Neudeck ob der Au monastery, Paulaner monks concocted a beverage to sustain them through the Lent fast. They were forbidden to eat solid foods, but liquids were deemed acceptable. So they brewed the strongest, most nourishing beer they could come up with.
"The Paulaner monks, followers of St. Francis who derived their name from the Italian holy man's hometown of Paola, originally called their tonic 'blessed father's beer' and 'holy oil of St. Francis,' before settling on the simpler Latin moniker for savior, 'Salvator.' The name remains today as the Paulaner brewery's star starkbier, and as an homage, other strong beer brewers use the '-ator' suffix with their products."
Read the full story HERE. h/t Ed Mechmann at Catholic Varia.