He who learns must suffer, and, even in our sleep, pain that we cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. - Aeschylus

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Beer of Feasts

While it is entirely possible to make a fast with beer, as I've mentioned before, the more common use for beer is at a feast.  Beer is the beverage of choice for many of those who are celebrating, whether they are celebrating their own stupidity or the love of friends and family.

For many of those living in monasteries, beer is also the source of income which provides them with enough funding to be able to feed themselves and maintain their monastery.  It is also what provides them with the ability to share their feasts with those who are in need of help and come knocking at the monastery door in times of trouble.

While there are a number of very fine Trappist monasteries which brew beer, not all of the beer-brewing monks are Trappists, so not all monastic beer is Trappist beer.  Recently, I ordered some beer from a monastery brewery in Italy, and I ordered it early enough that it would arrive just before Easter, because I wanted to celebrate the greatest feast of all with a fine beer.

Unfortunately, the delivery driver was unable to find my residence, and so I was not able to celebrate with the beer I had intended.  But it worked out well, because I was able to celebrate with some good Catholic friends the next weekend and share the beer of feasts with them.  Which is as it should be; feasts are the time to welcome all with love.

Note: Photo credit goes to me, but credit for brewing the excellent beer goes to the monks at Nursia (where St. Benedict was from) who use the proceeds from the sale of the Birra Nursia to fund their monastery and provide lodging and shelter to those in need.  You can support their ministry and get very good beer here.

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