For your Just Too Cool file, the great Benedictines monks in Norcia, Italy (the place where it is said St. Benedict was born) are making BEER!
I often go to their website to listen to the office chanted. They do a good job, though sometimes they have a cage-match with pitch-gravity and go flat during their psalms.
Here is what the monks say about their new beery project:
As is customary for monastic breweries, the name of the beer is connected to the city. For instance, Chimay and Orval are both towns in Belgium which have monastic breweries. Therefore, our monastery will do something similar, using the Latin word: “Nursia”, and calling it “Birra Nursia”.
The monks are quite excited. In fact, the equipment arrived only a couple weeks ago. That means that we’ll be busy with the final bureaucratic steps before we’ll be able to start brewing beer in a couple of months.
The fact that the name of the city is in the beer will bring great pride to the inhabitants of Norcia. Norcia is famous for wild boar, cheese, and prosciutto, not to mention truffles and being the birthplace of SS Benedict and Scholastica. To that list, the monks hope to produce a high quality brew that might accompany the boar, cheese, and prosciutto. Many of the shops, hotels, and restaurants in town have already expressed interest in selling it to their customers.
So, the next time you’re in Norcia, stop by a norcineria, a trattoria, or the monastic gift shop, and pick up a bottle of Birra Nursia!
I have not visited their monastery yet, but I look forward to the day. I am thinking about attending a conference in Rome in the fall on The City of God at my school the Augustinianum. Perhaps I will get up to Norcia and have some beer with my truffles, boar and cheese! It will be truffle season.
Hmmm… WDTPRS pilgrimage?