Self-quarantine is a good time to start trying new things.
Want to learn guitar? Now’s the time. Want to start a new book? The day is yours. Need a haircut? Go on. Give it your best shot.
Coronavirus is keeping us all inside with not a lot to do. For once, we are set free to our own devices. With so much time on my hands, I wanted to try something new. Being isolated at home with no one but my roommates to keep me company is the perfect atmosphere to take a break and look within myself — a time to reflect inward and get to know me a little better.
It was at this point that I stumbled upon the 17th century German tradition of beer fasting.
Legend states that Franciscan friars in Munich spent their Lenten season consuming nothing but the beer they brewed. For 46 days, these cloistered friars adhered to the strict rules of their order by fasting, letting no solid food pass through their lips, except for their homemade “liquid bread.”
I was immediately interested, but I had never seriously considered taking part in anything of the sort. The idea of a beer fast seemed cute, but it was a thing of the past. At the end of the day, beer fasts were nothing more than just a legend.
But then I learned of a Chicago bar owner completing a 40-day beer fast last week. This immediately grounded the legend in reality, giving me the inspiration I needed. If he could do it, what’s stopping me?
So I made a decision: for the next week, I will embark on a beer fast, inspired by the German brewing monks. From March 30 to April 6 I will consume nothing but beer and water, resisting any temptation that comes with solid foods.
I’ll be keeping a blog updating every day of this journey, sharing my thoughts and introspections that may come with this experience.
I may seem like a dim-witted 21-year-old that just wants to drink during quarantine, but this extends beyond beer.
This will be a test of discipline and self-control, challenging my mental fortitude and helping me do some self-reflection. Having grown up in a secular household, I never had any kind of “giving up” experience like Lent, and never had the desire of doing a silent retreat or any other activity that required sacrifice. Nothing like that ever sounded appealing to me. Until now.
I don’t know why I am so attached to doing this, but I’m prepared for my “meals” this week, and I’m ready to get started. I’m not going to dive in and spend 40 days with nothing but beer just yet; I honestly don’t have the discipline (or liquid assets) to do so yet. But I’ll start with one week and see how I develop.
Feel free to join me to the bitter end. Or I guess, the lager end.