Beer used to help lure in church members

Church groups have long used coffee and the occasional stale donut as a way to bring together parishioners to talk about faith. Now, some churches are trying to attract new members through craft beer.

NPR reports that Zio Carlo brewpub in Fort Worth, Tex. is home to Church-in-a-Pub, where members of the Calvary Lutheran Church meet and drink good beer.

Not surprisingly, some Sunday night drinkers are a bit taken aback to find a church service in their local bar. “I tell ‘em, it’s a church service, and they’re, like, ‘In a pub?’ And I’m, like, yeah. Some of ‘em stick around for trivia, some of ‘em take off, some of ‘em will hang out and have another pint or two,” bartender Les Bennett told NPR.


“Barbecue and Baptism” is a common summertime event here in the deep south.


I instinctively guessed it was a Lutheran parish. :smiley:

Now, Lutherans in general aren’t shy about liking a brew or two. I was not surprised that it was an ELCA church to actually set up a service in a pub - but surely they wouldn’t have the Divine Service in that manner?

I could see it as a nice setting for a casual Bible study group though :slight_smile: Our local Catholic diocese has Theology on Tap events at pubs…

I’d rather my people were in the alehouse thinking of church,
than in church thinking of the alehouse. Martin Luther

"It is my design to die in the brew house; let ale be placed in my mouth when I am expiring, that when the choirs of angels come, they may say, “Be God propitious to this drinker.” – St. Columbanus

“You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” --Frank Zappa

There is a Catholic bishop who would go to the local college bar (an “Irish” pub) and drink with the students. He took it as an opportunity to evangelize to the college crowd. I’m not sure if he still does this, but he was in the paper a few times in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s. I thought it was a great idea, but he never said Mass at the pub. I’m not a drinker–never touch a drop–and still think it’s a great way to evangelize.

Sounds like fun! Unfortunately, there’s no Theology on Tap that I could find in my area.

You guys are already the undisputed Kings and Queens of the casseroles. But, casseroles *AND *beer?? Clearly, we Catholics have some catching up to do in the merriness department. :wink:

Reminds me of when was a Junior in college (back in 1997). I took a road trip with two buddies to Notre Dame to watch them play Boston College. We stayed in the dorms. The president of the university (a priest) lived in the same dorm as the one we were staying in. We were drinking beer (we were all under-aged) and president walked into the dorm room (the door was opened).

He said to us “nothing wrong with drinking, but drinking games are a sin.” Then, told us to enjoy and left. Needless to say, I was saying to myself “why didn’t I go to a Catholic School!?!?!”

Different subject, Villanova’s campus ministry has “Theology on Tap”

Many of the monasteries and Kloisters set up throughout Germany, Switzerland, Austria were beer making entities to earn money for the monks there.

Throughout France and Spain and Italy, the monks made wine to help earn money.

That’s not by St. Columbanus. It’s by an anonymous poet who signed himself “the Archpoet” and whose poetry was discovered in the Benediktbeuern Abbey in Germany (hence the name “Carmina Burana”).

St. Columbanus would probably have told the Archpoet to fast for the rest of his life on bread and water for writing such blasphemous stuff.


Ah–it’s craft beer. That’s all right then. You scared me for a moment–I thought some unfortunate church was luring people with Budweiser, which would be almost as bad as luring them with contemporary Christian music.


very true. The oldest brewery in the world has been making beer since 1040 AD and started by monks.


I edited out the “Craft” word because I thought people wouldn’t know it.

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