QUOTED: The Toronto guy who’s drinking only beer for Lent, on resisting temptation
“I haven’t broken fast yet, but it’s been tough. I was coming home one night with some buddies and they didn’t even want a falafel, but I made them go in. I was like: ‘No, you’re fucking eating a falafel because it’s delicious!’”
—Chris Schryer, a web designer and blogger from Toronto, in a recent interview with Vice about his spiritually motivated decision to replace all solid food with beer for the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday. Schryer wrote about the quasi-fast on his local beer site, TorontoBeerBlog.com, and the story has since been picked up by media outlets like the National Post and TIME. (Seth Meyers even talked about it in his opening monologue on Monday night’s episode of Late Night.) Currently 23 days into the program, Schryer has been subsisting on 2000 daily calories’ worth of coffee, tea, juice, water and doppelbock, a syrupy Bavarian-style beer brewed especially for him by Toronto’s Amsterdam Brewing Company.
Schryer’s beer-only plan has certainly hit a cultural nerve—more, perhaps, because of the weird-crash-diet component than the devout-Christianity angle. Unlike some other stunt bloggers, though, Schryer genuinely seems to view his temporary novelty lifestyle as a test of spiritual discipline, rather than just a way to get sort of famous. The beer-only diet also has legitimate historical and religious precedents: according to the Post, doppelbock-fueled Lenten fasts were common among 17th-century Bavarian monks.
Still, most people seem more interested in the corporeal aspects of Schryer’s project, like how much weight he’s lost (a bit), how often he has to pee (a lot) and whether he feels totally hammered all the time (not really, but sometimes after dinner).