Daily Archives: April 14, 2009

Minor Holy Days…The Tapping of the Maibock


Today was the occasion of a minor feast at the beginning of the Easter season. Of course such things are important.  As Benjamin Franklin said “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

Today was the “tapping of the Maibock” a seasonal Lager at Gordon Biersch here in Virginia Beach.  We always attend the “tapping” of the new seasonal brew.  As I noted in a previous post entitled “the Fellowship of the Pub,” these are important events, especially in a season that is is a festival, such is Easter.  Patently the season of Easter being of course the season of the Resurrection and worthy of celebration.  Lent is over, and it is time to celebrate.  I’m glad that the folks at Gordon Biersch, whether intentionally or unintentionally waited until after Lent was over to re-introduce this seasonal lager.  After all as Martin Luther said: “It is better to think of church in the ale-house than think of the ale-house in church.”

It seems to me that God does indeed care for us, that She would indeed give us such a drink for our edification.  Jesus of course is not quoted about beer, but he did make some good wine, at least according the the chief wine steward at Cana. I’m sure had the Hebrews been more into beer than wine that he would have turned the water into beer.  However, Michael Jackson, a British historian  notes: “in the Saxon account of the Marriage Feast at Cana, where Jesus allegedly turned water into wine, ‘ale vats’ lined the room.”  The question that Jackson asks is “Was this a Saxon misunderstanding? Or did the Greeks introduce ‘wine’ from the Aramaic ‘strong drink”‘? Did Jesus actually turn water into beer?”

Being that my “inner nationality” according to a recent quiz that I answered is German, I have to side with the Saxons on this.  No offense to the Greeks, but obviously this had to be beer.  My logic is this.  God loves us, God made beer, and vats or kegs of beer are more likely to be at at wedding than vats of wine. Wine obviously would have been a more expensive drink and in would have come in wine-skins, not vats, at least not at a wedding. Since it is clear that the hosts of the wedding were obviously trying to cut costs we have to be skeptical of the claim that this was wine.  We also have to note that the stewards said that what Jesus made was better than what they had on hand.  It is patently obvious to me that Jesus produced a really good beer, or possibly an ale and not wine. Since Jesus is fully God and fully man then what Saint Arnold of Metz, the patron saint of brewers said is true: “From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.”

Peace and blessings, Steve+

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