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A TDE reader sends along perhaps the best Lenten BYCU piece of all time: Man does 46-day beer fast.

When I saw the title, I thought it was going to be about a guy who gave up beer for Lent. Big deal.

But no, the opposite: He gave up everything besides beer for Lent. (Beer and water only.)

He heard of monks doing it with a thing called “liquid bread,” so he gave it a shot:

According to legend, the 17th century monks of Neudeck ob der Au outside Munich, Germany, developed the rich-and-malty beer to sustain them during Lenten fasts, the traditional 46-day lead-up to Easter.

Unfiltered, the bold elixir was nicknamed “liquid bread” and is packed with carbohydrates, calories and vitamins.

With poor documentation available on the specifics of their fasts, I decided that the only way to know if the story was true would be to test the beer myself. I joined forces with Eric Sorensen, the head brewer at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in West Des Moines, Iowa, to brew a commercial release of one of my recipes, Illuminator Doppelbock.

The results? Fabulous. On top of losing 22 pounds, he gained a strong dose of mental and spiritual clarity that we could all use:

At the beginning of my fast, I felt hunger for the first two days. My body then switched gears, replaced hunger with focus, and I found myself operating in a tunnel of clarity unlike anything I’d ever experienced. . . .

The experience proved that the origin story of monks fasting on doppelbock was not only possible, but probable. It left me with the realization that the monks must have been keenly aware of their own humanity and imperfections. In order to refocus on God, they engaged this annual practice not only to endure sacrifice, but to stress and rediscover their own shortcomings in an effort to continually refine themselves.