I figure I should get this posted while it’s still Sunday, the Christian Sabbath. My friend Pete, he of the Wicked renown, sent me the link to an article in the Wall Street Journal about Valley Church in Allendale, Michigan, which is bringing a slightly different message to its flock than the average church. In Some Church Folk Ask: ‘What Would Jesus Brew?’, they host a “semi-regular meeting of beer enthusiasts and home brewers who go by the moniker ‘What Would Jesus Brew?’”
But the story details other similar efforts at bridging beer and religion at churches around the country, such as Saint Paul’s Episcopal in Wilmington, North Carolina, where they asked “congregants to brew beer and challenge other churches in the area to a friendly competition to raise money for charity.” The contest was called the “What Would Jesus Brew? competition.” And although it initially met with laughter and some derision, “[a] handful of nearby churches took up the mantle, and the groups met at Wilmington’s Front Street Brewery to learn basic brewing techniques and the history of beer in the church.” More impressively, the St. Paul’s team was called “Brew Unto Others” and also came up with a great team slogan: “God’s peace. Happy yeast.”
They “built a ‘gigantic, four-foot trophy with a giant stein on it,’ which went to the ‘Hopostles’ from St. Mary Catholic Parish for their tasty double India Pale Ale.” It goes on to point out, not surprisingly, that not everyone in the Christian church is thrilled with this recent beery focus, but Pastor Matt Bistayi from Michigan’s Valley church has an answer for them. “‘Drunkenness is a sin,’ he said, ‘but beer or alcohol in moderation can be a gift from God’s creation.’” Amen to that.