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Some Monks are Doing God's Work: Brewing Beer from a 220 Year Old Recipe

SourceBelgian monks have revived a medieval beer recipe last brewed in the 18th century.

The Order of Canons Regular of Premontre at Grimbergen Abbey in Belgium have begun brewing the ale again after rediscovering the original 12th-century recipe and methods in their archives.

But be careful if you get to try the new ancient brew – at 10.8 per cent alcohol content it’s likely to blow your cassock off.

Tuesday’s launch of the beer was the culmination of four years of research by the monks, also known as the Premonstratensian or Norbetine order or the White Canons, and volunteer linguists. …

The ancient brewing secrets of the white-robed friars were almost lost when French secular revolutionaries burned the abbey down in 1798.

The recipe was only saved because the monks defied the republicans and knocked a hole in the library wall to smuggle out some 300 books.

I’m not usually one to say “See? My religion is better than yours.” Mainly because pretty much anything bad that’s ever happened to anyone anywhere at any time began with those words. But even the most anti-Catholic people in the world (and believe me, at times I get where you’re coming from) have to hand it to us at moments like this.

I’m a man of peace, as you well know. Basically a walking, sentient COEXIST bumper sticker. So I don’t judge how other people worship. I just know that if I was starting my own religion, I’d make one that makes a sacrament out of intoxication. Thanks anyway, Mormons. Appreciate the offer but I’ll pass, Muslims. You Buddhists can dedicate your lives to the search for enlightenment and acts of kindness. The faith where the most devout holy men brew beer in the name of Jesus. Where they actually spend years and risk their lives to provide the flock with holy, sacred booze as way to get closer to the Creator.

That’s a thing I’ve never understood about cults. On the one hand, you’ve got the ones that are all about making money, getting high or holding orgies. On the other, you’ve got the ones that are all about self denial and sometimes even self abuse. Sorry, but if I’m gathering a group of deranged, weak-minded followers to an autonomous, isolated compound out in the middle of nowhere, I’m basing our worship game on New England IPAs, top shelf bourbon and commitment-free sex, not fasting and beating ourselves on the back with leather straps until we bleed.

And that’s what I like about these holy frat boys at the Grimbergen Abbey. They could spend all their time doing clothing drives for the homeless or spreading the gospel. But there are hops and barley to get into the keg. They’re reading scripture alright, but it’s the scripture of how to use party as a verb, baby. Recipes from old drunks who’ve been dead for two centuries are the key to rejecting Satan and all works.

So keep doing you, Order of Canons Regular of Premontre. It’s men of the cloth like you that give the Catholic Church a good name.