Del Hall has reasons for giving up all food for Lent—instead of just, say, chili dogs—and relying solely on beer for calories. And those reasons are not what you might assume. He'd like to break his cycle of making bad food choices, Cincinnati.com reports. But mostly he wants to emulate 17th-century monks, who may or may not want to be dragged into this. "Just like the monks used to do it back in the 1600s, I'm going to do the same thing," Hall said in a YouTube announcement. "I really feel good when I fast," he added. He'll allow himself black coffee, unsweetened tea, and sparkling water, but no solid food. "My pendulum doesn’t swing toward moderation," said Hall, who's the sales director for a brewer.
There were indeed Catholic monks who relied on beer alone during Lent in the 1600s, CNA reports. Paulaner monks in Bavaria weren't allowed to have solid food during Lent. But they weren't consuming off-the-shelf brew. They made their own doppelbock-style beer, a strong drink packed with carbohydrates and nutrients. The monks later sold the beer, and the doppelbock sold today by the Paulaner Brewery is a descendant of the monks' Lenten brew. (This has been done before; see here and here.)