There does exists a storied spiritual view that sees beer as a blessing from the Almighty, though a number of religious traditions look at imbibing alcoholic drinks with an evil eye. "Moralists work hard to maintain the wedge between spirituality and alcohol - it's what keeps them in power," the Chicago Sun-Times quoted Sean Lilly Wilson, the founder of the craft brewery Fullsteam in Durham, N.C., as saying.
"But there's no evidence that Jesus wanted this separation. Quite the contrary! Alcohol and community are central themes in Jesus' first miracle (the wedding at Cana) and his final act (the Eucharist)," Wilson added.
The American daily newspaper report also mentions a number of folksy tales of miracles and wonders performed with vats of divinely inspired lager to tell.
Citing the opinion of the folks at the website www.beerhistory.com, the paper says that St. Wenceslas, who helped spread Christianity to Czechoslovakia and is the patron saint of Bohemia, valued the precious Bohemian hops so dearly that he ordered anyone caught exporting them put to death.
The report says that, though pretty extreme, that move did endear him to local brewers.
It further states that another Wenceslas, the 13th-century King, had convinced the pope at the time to lift the ban on the brewing of beer.
The argument in support of that suggestion was that the boiling of the water used in beer production killed off water-born diseases.
It is also suggested that St. Arnold also ended a plague by dipping a crucifix into a vat of beer, and distributing the blessed elixir to the masses.
"Beer is the beverage of community and celebration.
It's the beverage of letting down your guard, showing your true colors, and building consensus," said Lilly Wilson, a faithful Episcopalian.