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Diet Like a Monk


The origins of Doppelbock can be traced back as far as 1634 to a monastic brewery in Munich. Pauline monks drank this brew to sustain them during times of fasting. Their most significant fast was during Lent, lasting an unbelievable 46 days. Because of Doppelbock’s high carbohydrate, vitamin and sugar content, and its low alcohol content, this style of beer provided enough nutrients for the monks during this time of food deprivation. Eventually Doppelbock became available to the public and grew in popularity from 1780 and on. The Doppelbock has a hoppy bitterness that acts to balance its sweetness. Most often, noble German hops are used for bittering.

The Doppelbock’s intriguing history and dietary effectiveness as been influencing some brave souls to follow in the footsteps of the monks. This challenging endeavor is often called “The Doppelbock Diet.”

A blogger and award-winning home brewer by the name of J. Wilson completed this challenge on Easter Sunday of last year. Wilson fasted on Doppelbock for the same 46-day period that the German monks would endure. He had guidance from both doctors and spiritual advisors during his experience. Surprisingly, Wilson has stated that after the first few days of fasting, he didn’t feel hungry at all. “I noticed early on a difference between needs and wants. On day three I wasn’t hungry any more. The aroma of food would kind of zap me and I would desire it, but I didn’t need it. So there’s a difference between needs and desires.” On average, Wilson was drinking four 12-ounce, 288-calorie Doppelbocks a day.

Once the 46 days were over, Wilson celebrated with a bacon smoothie. He stuck to liquid food for several days in order to ease his stomach, liver and kidneys onto solid foods again. His wife ended this when she bought a large ham; Wilson couldn’t help himself and dug into a big serving of mash and ham drippings gravy.

Wilson survived his experience with a lot of gained insights. “I just don’t think we give ourselves enough credit to accomplish difficult tasks. I think our bodies are capable of more than we ask of them. And certainly in relation to willpower – willpower related to food or willpower of how you’re going to conduct yourself spiritually – I think we can do more.” We wonder if Wilson would like our Doppelbock…although we have a feeling he wont be drinking any for a while.

You can read more of Wilson’s experience on his blog- Diary of a Part-time Monk

If you’re brave enough to try the Doppelbock Diet, we’ve got fantastic Doppelbock for you! Check out these great reviews of our delicious seasonal Deviator Doppelbock at the Globe And Mail and the Albino Rhino!