April 8th, 2011
01:19 PM ET

Man hits 31st day of beer-only Lenten fast

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

The story of Iowa newspaper editor and beer blogger J. Wilson,  who is drinking only beer and water for Lent, has gained a lot of attention this week.

On Friday morning he checked in with CNN Newsroom and explained his fast to Carol Costello.

Read Wilson's story here: For Lent, can man live on brew alone?

Wilson is 31 days into his fast, with 16 more to go.  He drinks four beers a day during the week and five beers a day on the weekend.  He told Costello he was enjoying his breakfast brew during the interview, which was conducted by phone.

The tradition of a beer fast dates back hundreds of years to German monks.  That's where Wilson got the idea for his fast.

In researching extended fasts, he learned the first three days are typically the most brutal.

He told CNN Friday that the first day he felt a lot of hunger pains.  But by day two the pains had largely disappeared.  He said he thought the fast would be much harder than it has been so far.

To date, Wilson has dropped about 18 pounds. He plans on breaking his beer only fast on Easter Sunday, in keeping with Christian tradition about Lent.

Watch an Explain it to Me video on Lent.

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Content Partner • Lent • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (313 Responses)
  1. Eric

    He lost 18lbs. So much for the beer belly theory!

    April 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  2. Now let's bow our heads for the beer prayer

    Our lager,
    Which art in barrels,
    Hallowed be thy drink.
    Thy will be drunk, (I will be drunk),
    At home as it is in the pub.
    Give us this day our foamy head,
    And forgive us our spillage's,
    As we forgive those who spill against us.
    And lead us not to incarceration,
    But deliver us from hangovers.
    For thine is the beer, The bitter, The lager.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • Stephen

      ^ Great post! Thanks!

      April 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • Joe Rebear


      April 17, 2011 at 6:13 am |
  3. ObamaBlackJesus

    Admit it folks, Jesus is black. And it's OBAMA! Wake up! Obama is the black Jesus. 2012 is just around the corner... so pray to the lord! REPENT your sins, and hail the black Jesus.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  4. Brett

    He'd reach Easter a lot healthier on a juice fast.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  5. justin

    He's not getting drunk, but this kind of diet is very dangerous. Please, don't try it.

    Everyone knows this kind of diet only works with Bacardi 151 😉

    April 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  6. johnpaul

    I thought Hitler gassed all the catholic germans?

    April 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  7. jerry

    wow so sad since the BIBLE says wine is a mocker and beer is a brawler like to know what kind of church this guy goes to and what kinda of lies this church is selling him

    April 8, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Tyler

      jerry – So I guess you believe Jesus turned water into Coca-Cola?

      April 8, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • justin

      @tyler Just as likely as turning water into wine. The early Christian church turned a great man into a giant lie. He was a great teacher who did good things in our world, but he was NOT harry potter.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  8. Jesus Christ

    What's with all this bickering my sons?

    April 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
  9. Drew

    @ Stephen Daedelus

    Wow someone misread Joyce.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  10. dale

    say good-bye,to his liver.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  11. tuchu

    Updated News!!!! Watch Full Updated News On http://bit.ly/hESpMr

    April 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  12. Max

    Daniel, you reading your comments on this page, you sound like the BIGGEST tool!

    April 8, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  13. jason

    Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy – B. Franklin

    April 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  14. whatalaugh

    NATE – you're a fool, with foolish words. If God didn't want murderers, then his creatures wouldn't create murder. God didn't create people in order for them to create beer. He created man to make decisions. And some men create foolish things, do foolish things and leave foolish comments.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Shuddup

      From what I have learned from the Bible, calling someone a fool is a no-no. Try to enjoy the gist of this story and drop the religious piety. Go throw your stones somewhere else. Nice way to witness. Clown.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • JH

      Let the one who has not sinned case the first stone....

      April 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • JH


      April 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  15. Carlos Miller

    they're actually hunger pangs, not pains

    April 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Geez

      If its a pain and caused by hunger, you can call them hunger pains.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
  16. DMAT

    24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not!

    April 8, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  17. Mike

    While I agree 4 beers to me right now would barely be felt and splitting it out on 16hrs would make it even less so. You guys are discounting that he is eating NOTHING. He is only drinking beer and water and eats no food. My guess is that by day 40 he gets buzzed from 1-2 beers........

    April 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Jeff S

      Actually, with his miniscule average BAC of .003 or less, its highly unlikely he would feel any buzz, except maybe for a fleeting moment after each beer, if he chugged it, which, since he's drinking real beer, he's probably not chugging it. And as the days go on, he would actually build tolerance, so whatever he felt, buzz-wise, in the first day, would diminish each day throughout the fast.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  18. LMAO

    You actually think 4 beers TOTAL in 1 day is a "partial state of drunkeness"? That's a pretty funny story.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
  19. Friend of JC

    Do you reall think the Lord who fasted for 40 days on his way to to being the savior of all mankind thinks very highly of this Bozo who is keeping his self in a partial state of drunken ness under the pretence of something "holy". He better enjoy this life because he is going to hate the next one.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Brian

      4 to 5 beers a day is not drunk. That's spread out over 16 hours.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Nate

      Partial state of drunkenness? What are you 25 lbs? 4-5 beers a day is no where near drunk, I know plenty of people, myself included, that can get through a case before they start to feel anything. And as far as enjoying his "next" life, if God Didn't want us to have beers, then his creatures, wouldn't help create it.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Shuddup

      How sad the pious pass judgment on others so easily. You claim to be Christian? Nice try, Bill.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • craig

      JC=clown. dude please stop with the preaching. you are clueless.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Shaun

      ...and the middle age monks who fasted only on beer were more pious than you...

      April 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Jesus

      I hope you come down from your self inflated high horse and realize nobody agrees with you. You don't know Jesus any better than anyone else.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Daniel

      I don't drink. One beer gets me ****faced. As in falling down, couldn't pass a sobriety test drunk. What's funny though is my blood alcohol level would be legal for driving.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Jeff S

      Idiotic. This is a practice that has been around for more than a millenia as a fast. 4 beers a day means he would have an average BAC of about 0.003 (about 1/24th the legal limit to drive in the most restrictive states.) Jesus and his disciples drank. Your just exemplifying the many so-called Christians who focus on small aspects of the bible and throw the rest away.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • jcg

      Well tecnically He drank all the time. In fact beer (or some form of alcohol) was a main part of the diet back then. It was easy to make, easy to maintain, and gave you a pretty decent amount of nutrients. It was only till later His life that he told the apostles He wasn't going to drink anymore.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Stephen Daedalus

      First, at the time of this "monk-fast", beer was far more common to drink than water which was often polluted. That wasn't religious, just practical, so a water-fast would probably be closest in the modern era.
      Second, didn't your "lord and savior" turn water into wine, and ask for a drink before getting offed? 🙂

      April 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • JC

      You represent a good portion of what is wrong with our country today. Wake up human, use your brain, and if you find you have one, how about you knock some sense into your Fox News watching dim witted neighbors while you're at it.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • An Intelligent Christian

      Unless I'm mistaken, by passing judgement on another you have taken it upon yourself to make the Lord's work for him. Are you qualified to to do this work or are you merely placing your own values upon others? "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone"

      April 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Frank

      ..here we have living proof that ignorance is bliss

      April 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Aezel

      No, I don't think the "Lord" thinks anything about him, because the "Lord" is a figment of your collective sheeple imaginations.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Christine

      Your salvation doesn't depend on if you drink beer of not.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  20. Daniel

    Drinking beer to honor something that sounds like it comes out of a dryer. Weird.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • mark

      I thought he was drinking to honor your mama... yeah, that's right.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Daniel

      My mother is dead. How could you be so cruel?

      April 8, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Stephen Daedalus

      If she's dead, I think you can rest assured that she won't mind. You make a joke about a religion (as I just did), you're going to get some rough responses. =P

      April 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • libprovider

      Well...in all fairness my mom is dead too but I don't expect people to know this unless I tell them. That having been said don't drink a beer in her honor! God, she hated the stuff...

      April 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • mark

      because i am a doouche bag.

      i also suffer from erectile difficulties.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.