Boniface Wimmer

1856 - Boniface Wimmer

Boniface Wimmer founded the first Benedictine monastery in the United States at St. Vincent Parish in Latrobe. Consistent with German and Benedictine tradition, Wimmer looked to include a brewery as part of the operations. The bishop for the region objected to the brewery and demanded that it be “closed down.” Wimmer appealed to the Pope and won his case, saying:

“The Benedictines in North America surely have the same rights as others, wherever they are living, to drink beer.”

—Boniface Wimmer, St. Vincent College, Archabbey, and brewery founder.


St. Benedict is known as the father of Western monasticism. He established the Benedictine monasteries and composed a set of rules defining monastery operations. These rules required the monasteries to be self-sufficient—to meet their own needs. Subsequently, many Benedictine monasteries brewed beer to meet their nutritional needs, as well as the need for a safe substance to drink when much of the water was contaminated. Their industry and efficiency eventually led to excess production, which was to be sold to the community.

Benedict can also be considered the father of all Abbey brewing.

St. Benedict








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