It's spring and for the millions upon millions of people who prescribe to the Christian faith, Lent. Across the western world, self-imposed deprivation is at an annual high, with human beings from Arkansas to Alaska giving up everything from Reese's pieces to HBO in anticipation of t-shirt season and, of course, the resurrection of Christ. It is a time of great suffering and great temptation, but one lone genius has managed to find a loophole in the system. His name? Del Hall. His game? Giving up food for 40 days and 40 nights to embark on a beer-only spirit quest the likes of which only legend has seen.
According to Hall, his psuedo-sacrifice is a tribute to 17th century Paulaner monks, who used to brew an unusually strong doppelbock called "Salvator" for Lent, drawing strength exclusively from its contents during the six weeks preceding Easter.
"Just like the monks used to do it back in the 1600s, I'm going to do the same thing," Hall solemnly pledged in an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer, while admitting that, like all mere mortals, the serpent has visited him bearing a Taco Bell $5 Buck Box on more than one occasion.
“Day two and three were pretty rough,” Hall told the paper. “I wanted to bash some Taco Bell after a few beers because that's what we do.” But thankfully he resisted and, now, halfway into his boozy fast, has dropped 25 pounds.
Hall, who we should probably mention is the director of sales at Fifty West Brewing in Cincinnati, says it was never about the weight loss, however, but "the journey and learning about yourself." If that sounds exactly like the line you'd sell your wife while trying to convince her that you should drink as much beer as you want for six weeks in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit amen, then we are all on the same page here.
But maybe this isn't a ruse, after all. Perhaps Hall, just like the rest of us, is simply trying to find himself at the bottom of every pint and lose a couple of pounds doing it. Whatever his motivations—earnest, diabolical, or some buzzed and blurry line in between—we hope that come Good Friday, ol' Del is judged for what he truly his:
A savior, a saint, and a beacon of hope for all mankind.