During Starkbierzeit, Muncheners sip earthenware steins of the dark, formidable suds to ward off winter’s lingering chill — strong beer was originally concocted by 17th-century monks who drank it in place of solid food during Lent. The locals still call it their "health tonic," and, keeping with tradition, celebrate and imbibe it during these late-winter weeks.

Monks, Munich and Strong Beer. Snyder, William R. The Wall Street Journal. 25 Feb. 2010.