Brew to subsist
The abbeys now brew mainly to ensure their subsistence.
Ensure the subsistence of the community.
The monasteries have heavy burdens: maintenance of monks and lay brothers, care of the sick or teaching, assistance to the needy, reception of pilgrims. A monastery must be able to feed all the people who are in the establishment or who revolve around it. As the donations are not enough, the monastery cultivates the plants, raises the animals necessary for its food and seeks to create surpluses which are sold outside.
Due to the fact that a certain number of monks knew how to read, write and count, the abbeys took advantage of this to bring technical advances to brewing: precision in the proportions, the use of written recipes and the addition of hops for their aromatic, antibacterial and preservative properties.
Far from being only a means of ensuring hospitality to its visitors and constituting a food supplement for the monks, the brewing of beer was also a source of income for the abbeys, in particular to maintain or modernize their buildings and installations.