Today is the feast day of St. Joseph, husband of Mary, and the “legal” father of Jesus. While he’s not the patron saint of brewers or anything beer related, it’s his feast day that marks the beginning of the Frühjahrsbierfest in Munich, Germany. Frühjahrsbierfest translates as “Spring Beer Festival” and it’s also sometimes called “Little Oktoberfest.” It’s very similar to Oktoberfest, held in the same place but is more local-focused and considerably smaller. The modern festival is held in late April now, ending in early May, and this year’s one in Stuttgart begins April 16th and concludes on May 8, with a similar one in Munich over the same dates. But today is its traditional start date and it lasted, I believe, around two weeks.
Here is his main description from his Wikipedia page:
Joseph (Hebrew: יוֹסֵף, romanized: Yosef; Greek: Ἰωσήφ, romanized: Ioséph) is a figure in the canonical gospels who was married to Mary, mother of Jesus, and was the legal father of Jesus. The Gospels name brothers of Jesus; the Gospel of James, an apocryphal work of the late 2nd century, theorized these as the sons of Joseph from an earlier marriage. This position is still held in the Orthodox churches, but the Western church holds to Jerome’s argument that both Joseph and Mary must have been lifelong virgins and that the “brothers” must have been his cousins. Perspectives on Joseph as a historical figure are distinguished from a theological reading of the Gospel texts.
Joseph is venerated as Saint Joseph in the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism. In Catholic traditions, Joseph is regarded as the patron saint of workers and is associated with various feast days. The month of March is dedicated to Saint Joseph. Pope Pius IX declared him to be both the patron and the protector of the Catholic Church, in addition to his patronages of the sick and of a happy death, due to the belief that he died in the presence of Jesus and Mary. Joseph has become patron of various dioceses and places.
While not a beer saint in the usual sense, I included him because of his association to this German beer festival. Because of his importance to Christianity, he is a patron for a bewildering number of people, places and things, including carpenters, craftsmen, families, lawyers, people who fight communism, social justice, travelers, working people. The places he’s the patron for include, Austria, Belgium, Bavaria, Bohemia, Canada, the Croatian people, the New World, along with Buffalo, NY; Cologne, Germany; La Crosse, Wisconsin; San Jose, California; and Westphalia, Germany. And trust me, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For the rest, check out CatholicSaints.info.