Brewing Beer at a Benedictine Monastery

Vince Luecke is the founder and owner of Saint Benedict’s Brew Works — a craft brewery on the grounds of a women’s monastery in Ferdinand, Indiana. He shares about the miracle of brewing and the joy of bringing people together to share a beer at their brewery.

Video Transcript

Ale Mary.

Vince Luecke: While the New Testament doesn’t talk specifically about beer, certainly He (Jesus) talks about the role of yeast and grain. We might have a larger fermentor, 100 plus gallons of future beer, and that’s not going to do anything until we get yeast in there to begin converting those sugars. So we’re not kneading bread like the New Testament talks about, but we’re in some ways using yeast to do something just as wonderful and miraculous, I think. You appreciate that when you sit down with a glass of beer, I think.

This craft brewery is in Ferdinand, Indiana. It operates in the monastery of the sisters of St. Benedict.

Vince: We don’t pass out religious tracts with the beer, but when it comes to names we try to incorporate things, traditional beer names. So we have Sister Mary Kolsch, we have Sister Betty Blonde, and Sister Betty’s excited every time we have her beer on, there’s a Sister Betty here. So we try to, in a friendly way, reflect a little bit of the spirituality and religious history that comes with where we’re at.

Vince: There are even some cradle Catholics who, “I can’t believe the Sisters would allow a brewery on their campus.” And there is where we kind of, to share a little bit of history about monastic life and monasteries, both with women and men, and that they strove to be self-sufficient. So beer is sort of in their DNA.

Vince: Benedictine tradition has been one of welcoming people, whether they’re pilgrims walking from place to place, to people now who may pull up after a long drive and say, “Oo, what’s the monastery all about?” So we bring people here who otherwise would have never, I don’t think, would come to a monastery. So we’re here not just to sling them a beer, but to talk about, “Hey, where are you coming from?” and they tell us a little bit about themselves. And we try to welcome them just as the Sisters would or as Benedictines around the world would welcome guests to their monastery.

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