“St. Anne, help me! I will become a monk!” Fearing he was suffering God’s judgment, Martin Luther uttered these words while trapped in a fierce thunderstorm in Stotternheim, Germany in 1505. True to his declaration, the onetime law student soon joined the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt, Germany. A few years later he relocated to Wittenberg’s monastery, The Black Cloister, and it was there that he penned his famous Ninety-Five Theses. He nailed the document, which boldly challenged the church establishment, to the Castle Church doors in Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517. So began the Protestant Reformation.
After years on the run as an outlaw, Luther returned to The Black Cloister in 1525 and married Katherine von Bora, a refugee nun who had earned her brewing license before fleeing her convent. The couple received The Black Cloister building and grounds as a wedding gift, moved in and made it their personal residence, “Lutherhaus.”
Katherine created what became known as the best beer in Wittenberg. Using local ingredients and traditional techniques, Katherine crafted beers that were likely more similar to today’s Belgian-style ales than to the lagers for which Germany is famous.
What the Luthers established was, in the truest sense, a new kind of abbey: A community of fellowship bound together by hard work and fine, handcrafted ales. Given this history and our deep respect for the accomplishments and vision of Martin Luther, we settled on the name The Black Abbey Brewing Company.
The Black Abbey brews similarly inspired ales in Nashville, Tennessee. These ales are creative, accessible and unique. They rely on 600 years of brewing tradition, starting with styles that Martin Luther himself might have enjoyed.