New Mexico Monks Brewing Beer: A Historical Tradition

Berkeley Merchant and Brother Christian Leisy

Sparks, SAR Boardroom

Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 3:00–4:00 pm, Free

Monks in PrayerMonks in PrayerPhotograph by US News and World Report, courtesy of Abbey Brewing Company.Monks in PrayerPhotograph by US News and World Report, courtesy of Abbey Brewing Company.

Although the art of brewing beer is believed to have originated in Mesopotamia as early as 6000 BC, it soon spread to Europe, where the tradition was refined by the monks of the Benedictine Order as early as the seventh century AD. The tradition of monastic brewing is linked to the 1500-year-old Rule of Saint Benedict, which still guides the lives of Benedictine monks. In the United States, the monastic brewing tradition is carried on only at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, north of Abiquiu, New Mexico. Brother Christian Leisy, a Benedictine monk for 40 years, and Berkeley Merchant, an oblate of the Monastery, guide the Monastery’s Abbey Beverage Company.

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