Birra Nursia

A group of American monks work to restore an ancient Italian monastery by brewing quality beer.

This article, written by Claudio Lavanga, appears on NBC News.

Birra Nursia Brewed by American Monks in Italy Hits U.S. Shelves

NORCIA, Italy — American monks have been raising money to fix up their centuries-old Italian monastery by brewing their own beer — a European monastic tradition that goes back to the Middle Ages.

The ale produced at the Monastery of Saint Benedict at Norcia has become so successful that it will be available for sale in the United States from next month.

The first shipment of Birra Nursia, a Belgian-style brew, is already on its way across the Atlantic.

The tradition of monastic brewing goes back to a time when monks drank it during Lent to help them fast. But this beer, which comes from the birthplace of St Benedict, has a financial purpose.

“Me and two other Americans came here in the year 2000, fresh out of college, and took over the abandoned monastery in Norcia,” Father Benedict Nivakoff, from New Canaan, Connecticut, told NBC News.

“But soon we realized we really needed a source of income to support the monastery’s maintenance, repair work and restorations. So we thought: what do monks do well? The answer in Europe is: good quality beer.” Read more at NBC News

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