This only works if the beer is awful, which makes drinking it a penance.
In the 21st Century, we could satisfy your puritanical condition of awfulness
by choosing Tecate or Red Stripe (or maybe even Carta Blanca), but they're all modern industrial lagers, thus filtered. So a sensible abbot couldn't justify any of them, being not only far too thin
, but also too vitamin-deficient
to provide the nutrition that was intended to be provided by the subject doppelbock
as brewed by the monks of the Paulaner monastery.
Let's get real
: The Paulaner monastery's rule, which the linked article described (possibly superficially) as prohibiting all solid food during Lent, seems likely to create a real risk of starving
some of its own monks. What proportion of those monks could remain healthy enough to perform the physical labor and other tasks that're required for daily life in ordinary times at the monastery? How about the additional burden of caring for a Lenten peak in the proportion of their fellow monks who become disabled by nutritional-deficiency diseases
, e.g., scurvy? Obtaining even water might be a problem: How much of Lent must be endured in the deep-freeze
of Bavarian winter, before their locale's annual thaw
? For years in which Easter falls early in the calendar (March 22 being the earliest possible), would their thaw have arrived by then?
Isn't the abbot of any monastery responsible to at least the sitting pope and God for the health of his monks? It seems entirely appropriate for an abbot and his senior monks to seek ways to maximize the collective health of their monks, esp. during the annual overlap of both natural and disciplinary privation
. Thus the creative idea to meet the letter of the monastery's rule by providing a carbohydrate-intensive doppelbock
, whose unfiltered yeast would be rich in B-vitamins. For its penitential
aspect, it seems likely that for at least some of the monks, naturally acidic beer sloshing around in a stomach empty of solid food would cause hours of internal discomfort ("upset stomach", perhaps centuries before discovery of of effective antacid remedies). Might that suffice to satisfy not only the puritanical disapproval
, but also the apparent envy
, expresssed in this topic
about the Paulaner monastery's Lenten solution?
Didn't the article linked from the original posting
report that the monastery sent a sample of the subject beer overland to the pope, seeking his approval? Altho' how long its transport required from Bavaria to Rome, and the season in which that was done, is not reported. But the pope's reaction was indeed that the beer was awful
, so he might've considered himself freed from seriously considering what was a genuine issue of monastic discipline
and its health consequences
during Lent. I imagine that the beer was ruined by excesive oxygenation as it sloshed around in its barrel during weeks (or months?) in transport, esp. if that was done during warm days
that probably would've been the preferred weather for a caravan.