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Friday, February 01, 2019

Happy Brewsters' Day!

Happy Brewsters' Day! (1 February)
I should like a great lake of ale, for the King of the Kings. I should like the family of Heaven to be drinking it through time eternal.
— Opening line of a poem attributed to Saint Brigid of Kildare

On 1 February, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Brigid of Kildare (c. 451 – 525 AD): a patron saint of brewers and one of three patron saints of Ireland (in league with Saints Patrick and Columba). Brigid herself was a brewer: one miracle attributed to her was turning (bath) water into beer, a gift she has since bequeathed to many brewsters and brewers alike (if without that spritz of sitz).
"Probably the best known Irish saint after Patrick is Saint Brigid (b. 457, d. 525). Known as 'the Mary of the Gael,' Brigid founded the monastery of Kildare, in Ireland. She was a generous, beer-loving woman, known for her spirituality, charity, and compassion.

Brigid worked in a leper colony which once found itself without beer. "For when the lepers she nursed implored her for beer, and there was none to be had, she changed the water, which was used for the bath, into an excellent beer, by the sheer strength of her blessing and dealt it out to the thirsty in plenty."

She also is reputed to have supplied beer out of one barrel to eighteen churches, which sufficed from Maundy Thursday [Holy Thursday] to the end of paschal time [52 days]. Obviously, this trait would endear her to many a beer-lover.
— Via the Brews Brothers: "Saints of Suds (When The Saints Go Malting In)."

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