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Beer making in the Episcopal community

Beer making in the Episcopal community

The Graceful Brewers Guild brings beer making to the Episcopal community and beyond

By Win Bassett


The Rev. Marion Kanour, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Massies Mill, Va., has founded The Graceful Brewers Guild, an organization open to church members and anyone else in the community who wishes to learn about and to revive “the old tradition of community…brewing in the churches and monasteries of Europe.” Along with J. Beckham, founder of The Batchery in Charlottesville, Kanour facilitated the first brew session earlier this summer. Blue Ridge Life reports in its latest issue:

“Beer making and the church were not far off,” says Beckham. “The way that we experience beer on a large commercial level is very new, historically speaking. So what we’re doing today is more representative of this long history of beer making.”

The feature in the alternative newspaper of the Nelson Country area mentions the unfortunate stigma many church-goers associate with beer, but Kanour easily answers that overindulgence is not an issue. “That’s the opposite of our hope at Grace Episcopal…. We’re enjoying the fellowship involved with creating an ale that can be enjoyed at special occasions at our parish.”

More of these occasions may now be able to host The Guild’s beer after nearby Devils Backbone Brewing Co. donated some of its homegrown hops to the Church. The same publication reports this week that Kanour was “invited to the hop garden…in Roseland to pick some of the very same hops used in varieties of DB beer.”

The Guild currently has fourteen charter members, and it plans to hold the “charter” status open to new members until its next meeting on Sept. 22, at 1 p.m., when it plans to brew an ale for the Church’s homecoming on November 3.

Win Bassett is writer, lawyer, and seminarian at Yale from the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia.

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