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Beer Saints: St. Florian

Today is the feast day of St. Florian (250 C.E. – c. 304 C.E.). He was born in the ancient Roman city of Aelium Cetium (present-day Sankt Pölten, Austria). He joined the Roman Army and advanced in the ranks, rising to commander of the imperial army in the Roman province of Noricum. In addition to his military duties, he was also responsible for organizing and leading firefighting brigades. Florian organized and trained an elite group of soldiers whose sole duty was to fight fires. He’s the patron saint of Linz, Austria, Upper Austria and Poland; chimney sweeps; soapmakers, and firefighters. But more importantly, he’s also the patron saint of brewers, coopers and barrel-makers

He’s probably best known for being the patron saint of firefighters and against flooding and fires; and he’s most often depicted emptying a pitcher to put out a fire. Apparently the reason he’s also a patron of brewers and beer lovers because both are also known for emptying pitchers. And because the pitcher is often shown as wooden, he’s become a patron to coopers and barrel-makers, too.

Saint Florian, by Italian painter Francesco del Cossa, 1743.

That is also the reason that Sonoma County firefighter Aron Levin, along with his wife Amy, opened St. Florian’s Brewery in Windsor, California. Unfortunately, due to the recent wildfires in our area, plus the pandemic, the brewery is temporarily closed right now, but hopefully will reopen shortly.

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