Sunday, February 1, 2009

Days of the Beer, February 1

The beer for today is Great Divide St. Bridget's Porter.

Today is the Roman Catholic Feast Day of Saint Brigid of Kildare, also known as Brigid of Ireland.

Brigid lived from 451 to 525. She was a nun, abbess, and founder of several convents. Along with Patrick and Columba, she is one of Ireland's patron saints.

There are several stories that go with Brigid. Her father was a pagan, and named her after their goddess of fire. At an early age, she converted to christianity, and started her charity work, basically giving away the family fortune to the needy. She wanted to join a convent, and when she gave away her fathers jewel encrusted sword to a leper, he sent her away.

Another story was that she founded an Abbey in Kildare that was for both nuns and monks. At one point she was receiving the blessing as the Abbess from St. Mel. He accidentally read her the rite of consecration of a bishop, which cannot be rescinded, so she had the authority of a bishop from that point on.

Of course, the most famous story of St. Brigid was that she could turn her bathwater into beer. In The Life of St Brigid the Virgin:

On another extraordinary occasion, this venerable Brigid was asked by some lepers for beer, but had none. She noticed water that had been prepared for baths. She blessed it, in the goodness of her abiding faith, and transformed it into the best beer, which she drew copiously for the thirsty. It was indeed He Who turned water into wine in Cana of Galilee Who turned water into beer here, through this most blessed woman’s faith.
As to the beer:

Great Divide Brewing company is located in Denver Colorado.

St. Bridget, a legendary Irish saint, created a sensation by turning her bathwater into beer. What better way to celebrate her worthy miracle than with our zymurgistic tribute to her feat: St. Bridget’s Porter. St. Bridget’s is a smooth and elegant brown porter. Brimming with coffee and chocolate characteristics from dark barley malts, St. Bridget’s is carefully hopped to provide the perfect complement to its malty robustness. This beer is a “must have” beer for all porter lovers.
This beer is probably available where ever Great Divide beers are. It is in several of the better bars in Champaign Urbana. It has won several awards and is highly rated on both Beer Advocate and Rate Beer.

So, for the woman who turned water into beer, go have a St. Bridget's Porter.

Some info from Zythophile.

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