It was largely the monasteries that maintained the knowledge and skills during the Middle Ages necessary to produce quality alcohol beverages. The world’s oldest continuous brewery was founded by monks and many, many closter breweries still exist throughout Europe.

Historically, this evolved because monks, priests and clergy were among the few who could read and write, and the finished product which they did not themselves consume provided a source of income for the monestaries, which you may note, were often pretty amazing structures for their day…in other words: business was good.