Catholicism is quantitatively the largest religious trend in Christianity that is followed by about 1.2 billion of people. A key role at the beer market was played by Catholic monastic orders that have different rules and ideology. Therefore their contribution to the history of brewing is qualitatively different.
Basic ideas that distinguish two largest subdivisions of Catholicism are based on a decision: 1) achieving God through labour – for the monks of Benedictine orders; and 2) achieving God through poverty – for mendicant orders. Therefore it is fully natural that a key role in development of brewing technology was played by the branch of Benedictine rule. They also form the basis for the modern abbey brewing today. But bright characters of monks on packing well known to the beer lovers almost all belong to mendicant orders.
Apparently, due to presence of a lot real breweries, the attributes of orders of Benedictine rule attract less attention of marketing specialists than characters and images of mendicant orders.
Most probably, the next chapter will tell about not all breweries at Catholic monasteries, as on the first place their number is constantly growing. Brewing is traditional and, as it turned out, effective economic activity for the present day monks.
Besides, we find very important one Benedictine’s argument that “brewery searches the way to the hearts of those who have not come to the religion”, because a brewing serves as a meeting point for wandsmen and laymen. And recently the Catholic church has been seeking more openness and participation in the society life, thus, such links are valuable. That is why, in Catholic communities, where it is appropriate, all over the world one should expect upspring of a lot of breweries.
Let’s look at the structure of orders, breweries and abbey brands in more detail.