Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beer Fast - nod to tradition or bad idea?

I am not talking about beer for breakfast, but an actual fast - abstinence from food - drinking only beer. Paulaner monks (yes the beer is theirs) used beer as their replacement for food during Lent, even developing a special beer to have then to give them more sustenance than regular beers:

 The Paulaner monks brewed the first Paulaner beer in 1634. During the Lenten period forced to fast on only bread and water, the monks reasoned that beer could be brewed as "liquid bread" and not violate their Lenten promise. The Paulaner monks' "liquid bread" became the world's first Double Bock - Paulaner Salvator.

That is pretty amazing. Holy men and women have long gone on fasts, but Lent is 6 weeks long. That is a long time to go without food. Good thing they realized beer is 'liquid bread' and made a special brew to increase the nutritional benefits.



This year a modern secular man decided to give it a try himself. J. Wilson, a man who considers himself a non-denominational Christian, is a home brewer and decided to meld his passion for good beer with his religious beliefs and follow the same tradition. CNN recorded the progress from beginning to end. It was good to read that he consulted with a doctor on this as I could see the average guy thinking - oh this is an excuse to drink beer all the time. But this was a passionate and educated home brewer and man of faith who took the right steps to try this. And he seems to have suffered no ill effects and lost 25 pounds in the process. I wonder how long until someone tries to develop and actual 'diet' based on beer. One week on and one week off or something?

I am not condoning mass consumption of alcohol, in fact I am not a fan of drinking to get drunk period - I just don't get how that is fun let alone responsible. But as a few posts I have done also attest- here and here - in moderation beer (like wine) can be part of a healthy lifestyle.