Patron Saint of Beer and Brewers

by Donna Haupt in Beer

Patron Saint of Beer and Brewers

I just recently learned there are patron saints of beer, correctly stated, patron saints of brewers. In Catholic elementary school we were taught about the lives of the saints, but the discussion of beer was certainly not part of the curriculum. Actually, there are more than 20 patron saints of brewers, so how did that bit of education slip by.  And of course we learned a great deal about early Europe, but there were no discussions about impure water and that beer was safer to drink. OK, my pious eyes just recently read that for centuries European monasteries actually brewed the beer for public consumption and for consumption by the monks. I never learned that in Catholic school.


Fascinated with these new morsels of information, I researched the history of the patrons of beer. I read their stories and how they got the dubious title. Wanting to paint the one I found most fascinating, I chose Saint Arnold, Bishop of Metz, also known as St. Arnulf, Anou, and Arnould.  St. Arnold, Bishop of Metz, was born in a country known as Austrasia in 580 AD, died 640 AD.  His feastday is July 8.  Above is my rendition of St. Arnold, after a lot of thought and research.

So, my question was, what type of ecclesiastical vestments did bishops wear in the 7th century around a place called Metz or Austrasia?  I dragged out my old dusty copy of “The Book of Costume” by Millia Davenport, and found the chapter with the illustrations, descriptions, titles of the garments, and what was worn, when.  Whew!  Thank God for artists and paintings, wonderful paintings from the past.  For me they serve as a  fashion house of information.  And I do have a vast library of books on the saints.
Did I mention my early years in junior college I studied fashion design.  Yes, I wanted to be a fashion designer.  That somehow led me into the desire to be a fine artist, so that desire to analyze fashion is imbedded within me.
Anyway, I discovered the complexity of liturgical dress for priest and bishops, from the beginning of time.  There were capes, tunics, stoles, and so many more names of vestments that I won’t mention here.  The History of Costume was one of my favorite subjects in college.
Well, if there is a patron saint of beer, what else it out there?