Benedictine monks in Italy tap U.S. craft beer market

Posted by Siobhan O'Neill Meluso
Tuesday 24, May 2016 | Category:   Mission & Evangelization,Consecrated Life
Father Benedict Nivakoff O.S.B.
Benedictine monks in Norcia, Italy, brought their beer to the U.S. market. 

Over the centuries, there have been many monasteries that have made and sold wine and beer. In recent years, with craft breweries becoming all the rage in the United States, some beer-brewing monks are tapping into the trend, according to the Los Angeles Timesnamely the American monks who produce a beer line called Birra Nursia at the Monastero di San Benedetto in central Italy.

“I knew the difference between craft beer and run-of-the-mill factory beer,” says Father Benedict Nivakoff, originally from Connecticut, who is proud of Birra Nursia’s two beers, a blond ale and a Belgian strong ale that hit the U.S. market in April. “Our life is mostly centered around prayer,” he says, “so we get up at 3:30 in the morning, we pray seven times a day, we’re in and out of the church every hour—there isn’t a lot else we can do, besides the brewery.”

Another popular beer brewed by monks is Ovila Abbey Saison—this one in the United States. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. brews the Ovila Abbey Ales series in collaboration with the Trappist monks of Abbey of New Clairvaux. These Cistercian brothers harvest fruit for the beer from their orchards in Vina, California, where they also tend vineyards for wine-making.

Read more: "Raise a glass to the brewing monks!".

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