If it weren’t for the monks — who historically had the time and the land to tinker with fermentation — we wouldn’t have many of the world’s best beers, ciders, wines, spirits and cheeses, including such heavy hitters as Chimay and Parmigano-Reggiano. Not to mention the quaffs produced by New York State’s Brotherhood Winery, the oldest in the country as profiled in Edible Brooklyn. Tonight’s lecture and tasting by Kara Newman and Diana Pittet of the Culinary Historians of New York (some our favorite history nerds, naturally) is all about monastic traditions in food. It’s at 7:30 at the National Arts Club in Gramercy, and is $40 (more details here). Afterwards, you should of course head to Burp Castle on East Seventh Street, where Belgian brews are King, murals are monastic and your barkeep is occasionally dressed in robes.