Of Beer, Norcia, Monks, Boars, Cheese, Truffles and the City of God

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!

Birra Nursia!

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?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Dr Guinness says:

    A fantastic group of devout men. You will thoroughly enjoy your stay when you decide to go.

  2. asacjack says:

    Hmmm, beer. Yet another reason to love monks!

  3. mrsschiavolin says:

    Norcia was one of the spontaneous stops on our honeymoon tour. It’s totally awesome. The life of the monastery truly reverberates in the city. We were impressed with the number of families with children. Not to mention the food is incredible and it’s on the doorstep of the ethereal “piano grande.” Ah, Umbria!

  4. Bea says:

    The CBCT Monks

    Carmelites in the Morning
    Benedictines in the Evening
    Carthusians at Supper Time
    Followed by the Trappists
    With sweetness in its’ prime

    Sung to the tune of “Sugar in the morning, Sugar in the Evening, Sugar at Supper Time”

    T…he Ultimate Bourbon Chocolate Fudge

  5. Bea says:

    Oops y daisy
    above entry


    My computer thought I misspelled and omitted the 2nd “p”

  6. uptoncp says:

    sometimes they have a cage-match with pitch-gravity and go flat during their psalms.

    Liturgical aside: the Sarum rubrics expect this to happen – when the 5 psalms of Vespers are sung under one antiphon (most feast days) the pitch may be raised at the start of the fourth.

  7. Pure joy. Deo gratias.

  8. I would go with you on that pilgrimage!

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Yes, to a pilgrimage, but I assume ladies would have to find lodging outside the monastery?

  10. Supertradmum: I don’t know what the guesthouse arrangements are.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    On the website…just checked it out. We can only accommodate men in our monastery guesthouse but we are happy to reserve rooms for women guests at the convent of Benedictine nuns, a short walk from our monastery.

  12. spock says:

    I had the privilege of listening to Father Cassian Folsom at a religious conference near Chicago. He is the founder of the new monastery we’re talking about. Pray for him because he’s had issues with cancer recently. He comes across as a very holy man’; certainly relative to a sinner like myself. He received the “Pro Fidelitate et Virtute Award” at this conference.

    The Beer Pilgrimage sounds like it would be a great trip !

    Spock’s law of beer states that in general, beer gets better the further North on the planet that you go. On that basis I think it would be really good Schtuff !

  13. acardnal says:

    @spock: Fr. Cassian spoke and was the guest of honor at the Institute of Religious Life.
    Here is the video of his talk. He tells a great joke at the beginning of his talk.


  14. spock says:

    @acardnal: Thanks! I know some others who will appreciate this as well.

  15. irishgirl says:

    @ acardnal: Yes, thanks indeed! I loved that joke referencing the story of Elisha (Eliseus), the bratty little kids calling him ‘Bald Head’ and the devouring she-bears! That was funny!
    I hope that he will fully recover from his cancer-that was a shock to hear!

  16. Roguejim says:

    Considering the fare, I would recommend the monks become competent in brewing a pale ale, perhaps even an IPA (India Pale Ale). If they develop their brewing chops, then, on to lagers, which should include an excellent German Pils.

  17. AvantiBev says:

    Guess I have one too many unemployed pals and/or been reading a lot of Thomas Sowell these past few years; but what struck me was the following phrase.
    “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.”
    Now you can joke about Italian red tape but when the laughter stops, look around you here in the USA. If we had this lot in charge and “protecting us” back when our ancestors were heading West, our western boundary would be the Appalachians. I would venture that fully 2/3 of the paperwork we complete here at my day job is to CYA against law suits or to generate enough paper work so that some City, State or Fed bureaucrat can justify their post, their salary and their pension plan.

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