Years ago, I used to write for a now defunct “Christian Satire” publication known as the Witttenburg Door (yes, the title is intentionally misspelled). I recently found the manuscript for one of my most-liked pieces. Perfect for summertime:
Christian Beer Guide
By: Philip Leiter
What would life be like in the brotherhood and sisterhood of saints if it were not for a frosty mug of the foamy substance every now and then?
With the popularity of home micro-brewing, pious pew warmers no longer need risk the embarrassment of a late night encounter with Pastor Bob at the Seven-Eleven as they try to sneak out with a six pack of Pete’s Wicked Ale.
In our continuing effort to promote harmony and understanding within the church, we have prepared a list of the best Christian micro-brews.
These potent potables are making the rounds at tailgate parties outside Promise Keeper rallies, Amway presentations, and Christian Rock concerts nationwide.
Our crack staff has sampled many of these divine distillations (often in one sitting) and offers this handy guide.
We have categorized these by theological proclivities because imbibing without consideration of your denominational inclination can lead to profound spiritual consequences
The Amish know how to party, and when they do, they reach for a frothy mug of Der Schtikkenmudd Plain Folks Ale. A hearty blend of natural hops, barley, hat-brim sweat, and Old Testament pages, this brew is a great compliment to the Sunday afternoon pig, beef, ox, goat, deer, elk, caribou and road-kill roast.
Anglican faithful have been harrumphing over the tasty bitter ale produced by the Abbot Brother’s Brewery called Henry VIII’s Ninth Wife Bitters. It is easy to see why the faithful are losing their heads over this voluptuously traditional English styled ale.
When our Apostolic friends aren’t tending their snake pits, they enjoy the sweet flavor of Tongues O’ Fire Malt Liquor. With an alcohol content of 7.9%, this brew will definitely leave you tongue-tied.
The Assemblies of God gather together at a river of oak-barrel aged Slain Spirits Bock Beer. A simply charismatic blend of ginger and chocolate flavorings make this unique brew a special selection of the chandelier swingin’ set.
Brother Bob’s Basement Brew Pub and Bible Tract Publishing Corporation has produced a brew Baptists literally interpret as possibly the best thing since total immersion: Premillenial Malt Liquor, a rapturous dispensation of wild hops and humble barley. For those “left behind,” Brother Bob offers Pale Horse Pale Ale #666, a stiff brew for a stiff-necked people.
Hail Mary and pass me a pint of Friar Tom’s Magical Mystery Mead (Transubstantial Ale). Some say it is, some say it ain’t, but those who know, never dribble the Triple M. Catholics of all stripes love this traditional dark ale brewed in the Vatican cellar under the watchful eye of Friar Tom. The good Friar refuses to reveal the secret ingredients under penalty of Limbo.
Christian Scientists may deny it, but they take their brewskies seriously, and Say It Ain’t So Sour Mash Malt is one serious beer. Brewed in John Travolta’s garage, this beer takes the bold step of being totally natural – without using a pasteurization process. Those who become ill are advised to “just get over it.”
If it ain’t Dutch, it ain’t much and KierkaBier is as Dutch as it gets. This stout beer is brewed at Calvin College in the west wing of the philosophy department underneath a poster of Dutch Reformed theologian, Abraham Kuyper. Devotees of this dark, sturdy beer say they can almost taste the dusty, dank bohemian studios of Dutch thinkers at Amsterdam University. However, at the price of $9.95 a six pack, DRC members – famous for their, uh, frugality – are known to serve Goebel beer at house parties.
Episcopalians of all stripes tip a pint of Stodgy Bottoms Amber Ale after a long day on the “links.” This bright red, slightly fruity beer is brimming with Protestant work ethic.
Scandinavians, when not warming their bones with Glogg, enjoy a hearty, dark Pilsner called Yasuryabetcha Brown Beer. Flavored with just a hint of cardamom, this official beverage of the Evangelical Covenant (Swedish Free Church) is a perfect compliment to pickled herring and Swedish meatballs.
Aimee’s Holy Ghost Ale is particularly suited to the Foursquare Gospel denomination with its precise blend of four sanctified grains and pure California spring water. Named for church founder Aimee Semple McPherson, this amber ale is one spirit-filled experience.
Friends don’t let Friends drink rowdy beer, and Peaceable Kingdom Pale Ale is one mellow brew. Conscientiously objective and decidedly low brow, this simple, “hoppy” beer won’t fight with your palate or quake ‘yer sensibilities.
Don’t slam the door on Jumpin’ Jehovah’s Witness Wheat Beer until you’ve transfused a draught of this delightfully heady brew. Bottled under the watchful eye of the Bible Tract Society, this new wheat beer is delivered to your door early Saturday morning by two faithful followers of your local Kingdom Hall. Don’t even pretend your not home!
Martin Luther would have posted no thesis on the door of Wittenberg Cathedral had he tasted the flavorful subtleties of Nearly Catholic Chocolate Malt Liquor. Aged in wormwood casks, this chocolate flavored malt beer is one brew Lutherans in every synod agree is worth the protest.
“Extremely rigid, yet surprisingly mellow” is how Mennonites of all beard lengths describe Oaken Pew Lager. From an old recipe of Menno Simmon’s grandson, this handcrafted Lager is uniquely flavored with orange Jell-O highlights.
Historians claim that John Wesley preached over a hundred sermons a week during his barnstorming evangelical quest of early nineteenth century Europe. With that grueling schedule, a cool draught of Brother Charles’ Methodical Malt helped the itinerate holy man maintain an even keel. Carefully brewed in virgin oak barrels, this saintly beverage prepared the savage heathen for Wesley’s Methodist message to the New World.
A new breed of adult beverage is making the scene at posh new Non-denominational, ecumenical mega-churches across the fruited plain. The Practically Perfect Suburban Pilsner is a blend of discarded hops and barley from some of the more outspoken brews reviewed in this guide. Pleasantly nondescript in taste and temperament, this near beer is appropriate for any gathering of nearly similar saints.
Like a baseball bat to the head, Sons of Thunder Malt Liquor is the in-your-face-favorite of Pentecostal penitents everywhere. Holy Ghost Tent Revival Brewery, located somewhere in the hills of Tennessee, has been bottling this hell-fire and brimstone inspired concoction for the faithful since 1965.
Calvin & Hops Session Ale is precisely brewed and fermented in stainless steel vats where only the select dare trod. It’s preordained that this fruity, full-bodied ale will keep the elect upright and true. Presbyterians will never tell, but rumor has it that every Elder, Deacon and Session meeting begins with a tall glass of lukewarm C & H.
“Interstellar Star-Stuff” is an actual ingredient on the fanciful labels of Ostentatiously Metaphysical Inter-Galactic Omnisciently Sentient Hybernian Pale Ahle (Celtic spelling of ale, we think). Brewed, or some would say boiled, or rather; “left to stand,” in pure silver globes representing Mother Earth (although, one does not have to believe in any earth-mother, per se) for a fortnight (but not necessarily a real fortnight, although no one is quite sure what one is) and stirred for exactly one turn (or more than one, possibly three) with a switch of birch from a low branch of an Essex heath row from an eastern facing bough, this beer – or some would say; “essence of pure earthly mead” – has ambiguous flavorings that tingle the utterly good inner being of the essential Personkind. The official (but non-binding) brew of the Unitarian Universalist denomination, OMIGOSH Pale Ahle is intended to be consumed in pure ceremonial crystal goblets dedicated to the god of Universal Mead, Lord Humbug (or some such).