Another Reason To Thank Catholic Monks: Great Beer!

My favorite kind!


I’m not saying they invented beer. But the beers we enjoy today are a lot better because of the work they did to support themselves, and evangelize. Evangelize?

If you love beer, thank a monk. Monks have been producing beer for 1,500 years, and in that time, they have revolutionized and perfected the beer-making process. 

The history of monks and beer begins early in the sixth century when Benedict of Nursia wrote a template for monastic life called The Rule (later known as The Rule of St. Benedict). One of Benedict’s directives was that monks should earn their own keep and donate to the poor by the work of their own hands. In the centuries following, monasteries have produced goods to sell, including cheese, honey, and, of course, beer.

Beer production served other purposes too. The Rule outlines the monastery’s obligation to show hospitality to travelers and pilgrims. Beer was safer to drink in medieval times than water contaminated by sewage, and therefore was served to visitors. Beer was also helpful to monks in getting through periods of fasting in Lent and Advent. Beer’s nutrients earned it the nickname “liquid bread.”

In the Middle Ages, monks introduced regulation and sanitary practices in their breweries. They also extended the life of beer by adding hops, which acts as a preservative.

Read it all.


"Vaya con Dios, Leonard; Rest in Peace."

Leonard Nimoy Explains The Origin Of ..."
"Thank you for sharing"

To Break My Fast from Being ..."
"I've seen Matt Maher live four times...twice since this song was released. I absolutely love ..."

WYD Flashback With Matt Maher, And ..."
"Yes, and Dolan should have corrected the scandalous and wrong decison of his predecessor when ..."

Archdiocese of New York Health Plan ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • girl

    Sadly, unless you go out of your way to find a gruit, you are drinking Protestant beer. Catholic beer was brewed with herbs and lacked the soporific, estrogenic effects of hops. (Says the internet.)

    • Trappist ales without hops? Trappist ale without Trappists? LOL!