One interesting new craft beer to hit the US market this year is called Birra Nursia. The American monks at the Monastero di San Benedetto in Norcia, Italy, formulated this most holy of brews. Birra Nursia has become such a great success all around Italy in recent years that the monks have decided to send their beer to the USA.
Brewing beer is a tradition that dates back to well before the Middle Ages in European monasteries. However, Italian monasteries are more famous for selling high quality wines, not beers. Father Benedict Nivakoff, a monastic who was originally from Connecticut, told NBC reporters that he and his fellow monastics hoped that by making high-quality beer they would help support the monastery’s maintenance expenses.
These monastics started their brewing endeavors by relying on the expertise of one monastic named Brother Francis, who had done some home brewing in Dallas, TX. Later, these Benedictine monks went to a Trappist monastery in Belgium to learn more about traditional brewing techniques.
Eventually, these American monks were able to fill an old barn with fermentation tanks. Then they placed their bottling and filling stations in the basement.
Generally, these Benedictine monks work on brewing and packaging their craft beer eight hours a day.
Following the success of their brewing industry, the monastics have also found other interesting ways to raise funds. These monks actually topped the Billboard classical charts with their Marian chants CD entitled “Benedicta: Marian Chant from Norcia.”
Birra Nursia will be released in two different blends when it reached the USA: blond ale and Belgian strong ale. For more information on this craft beer, take a look at their official website.