From about 1600 to 1900, there were four classes of beers brewed on estates, although not all kinds were brewed by every brewer. On the bottom was weak and watery small beer, usually the last runnings of whatever was being brewed, although occasionally brewed on its own in summer months. Next up the scale in strength was "table" beer, what we today would regard as ordinary strength, roughly in the 1.050 (12°P) (4.5-percent alcohol) range. Next was March and October beer at about 1.080 (19 °P) followed by rarely brewed "double" beers, well over 1.100 (24 °P) (9-percent plus), and reserved for special occasions. (Randy Mosher, Radical Brewing, p. 130)
I call myself a Christian, and denominations don’t mean anything to me. The bickering amongst denominations is just silly.
The Paulaners felt, however, that such a strong brew with such delightful qualities might be just a bit too much of an indulgence for Lent. So they decided to ask the Holy Father in Rome for a special dispensation so that they could continued to brew it with a clear conscience. The Paulaners dispatched a cask of Lenten beer to Rome for the pope to try and to pass judgment. During its transport across the Alps and along the burning sun of Italy, unfortunately—or fortunately—the cask tossed and turned, and heated for several weeks—a classic condition for causing beer to turn sour and undrinkable. So when the Holy Father tasted the much-praised stuff from Munich, he found it (appropriately) disgusting. His decision: Because the brew was so vile, it was probably beneficial for the souls of the Munich monks to make and drink as much of it as they could. Therefore, he willingly gave the brewing of this new, allegedly rotten, beer style his blessing.
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