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In the 1600s, monks brewed beer for a liquid-only Lenten fast


To this day, the popular Paulaner brewery is quite proud of its Lent-related origins.

Paulaner monks (the “Order of Minims,” the Order founded by St. Francis of Paola in the 15th century) moved from Southern Italy to Northern Germany in 1634. They established themselves in the Neubeck Ob Der Au cloister, located in the Neuhauser Straße, in Munich, the same building in which the Paulaner Brewery would later run its business.

In a video published in the Paulaner Brewery website, Martin Zuber, the current braumeister (that is, the master brewer) for Paulaner, explains these monks, being quite a strict order, “were not allowed to consume solid food during Lent,” so they brewed a beer that was heavy on carbohydrates and nutrients: a sort of “liquid bread” that would not break the mandatory Lenten fast. They named this brew “Salvator.”

The brew was the great grandfather of doppelbock-style beers, which eventually became one of the original products of the monk’s brewery sold in the vicinities of the cloister. Nowadays, Paulaner is one of the eight breweries that participate in Munich’s worldwide famous Oktoberfest. And, even if people all over the world now enjoy Paulaner’s doppelbock all year long, the brewery is, to this day, quite proud of its penitential Lent-related origins.

To know more about this tradition, you can read Matt Hadro’s great article here.

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