In Gatineau, Quebec, the oldest Protestant church in the Ottawa Valley stands deconsecrated and empty since late 2006. The century-old stone building is the third church to stand on the site; previous ones had burned down in fires. Now, a businessman wants to buy the church building and convert it into a brewpub and entertainment site, but the remnants of St. Andrew's congregation aren't keen on the idea.
"I am not happy that this place could become a brewery because people on city council told me it could only be used as a church," said Blaine Meadows, a former member of the St. James congregation, adding that he and three or four supporters still hold prayer services on the sidewalk in front of the church every Sunday morning. "As far as we are concerned, it is still our church, even though the diocese changed the locks and stole our church."
"I don't know whether we could have our prayer meetings inside if the building became a brew pub. It gets kind of complicated."
Geoffroy, however, said the church would be an ideal home for a microbrewery because its basement has a ceiling high enough to accommodate brewing equipment. Some of the world's most famous beers are brewed by religious orders in Belgium, he argued.
Geoffroy also noted that the main floor has excellent acoustics and religious artifacts that could be preserved in a pub.
"We intend to enhance and promote the historic, brewing and industrial heritage of the city," Geoffroy said. "It will be a cultural place that would offer classical music and performances by small groups."
The story is here.
The title of this post, it should be noted, comes from a prayer from the Rituale Romanum that is a favorite around the Thompson/Mosher household, as my fiance is a craft brewer. It goes like this:
Bene+dic, Domine, creaturam istam cerevisae, quam ex adipe frumenti producere dignatus es: ut sit remedium salutare humano generi: et praesta per invocationem nominis tui sancti, ut, quicumque ex ea biberint, sanitatem corporis, et animae tutelam percipiant. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Bless, O Lord, this creature beer, that Thou hast been pleased to bring forth from the sweetness of the grain: that it might be a salutary remedy for the human race: and grant by the invocation of Thy holy name, that, whosoever drinks of it may obtain health of body and a sure safeguard for the soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.