Is there a patron saint of beer?
- John G., Philadelphia, PA
“A” patron saint? Try four well-known saints, and a host of others. Here are two you might recognize: St. Luke – of the Gospel of Luke – is the first patron saint of brewers, who has no real reason to be named so, other than his apparent recognition that the beer of the day was safer than the water, and his knack for mixing medicinal herbs that found their way in to beer. Nicholas of Myra – you might know him as St. Nicholas (yup, that Santa) is also a patron saint of brewers and barrel makers (and about 100 other things). If you ever see Santa on a beer label, don’t be offended. He belongs there.
How are women involved in the history of beer?
- Sarah C., Aston, PA
Oh my. This is the stuff of an entire article, if not an entire book. Women were the first brewers, and it is widely believed that in the hunter/gatherer tribe, it is women that discovered the first recipe for beer over 9000 years ago. In ancient times, beer was believed to have been handed from Goddess to women out of pity for the harsh nature of life on Earth. Women made the beer and ran the taverns in ancient Sumaria under the protection of the Goddess Siduri – not only the Goddess of Beer, but also Wisdom. (hint, hint.) Women brewers quickly became priestesses. Before writing was mainstream, women would give men beer, who, in their drunkenness would tell stories for hours. The women would gather the children to listen, and thus oral history was passed down. Even the Code Of Hammurabi describes beer seller as “she.” Men are but a period at the end of the book that is the history of beer, written by women for millennia.
Which of the Philly sports venues has the BEST beer?
- Shawn H., Northeast Philly, PA
Honestly, we have some of the best sports venues in terms of beer and food. Top on our list would have to be Citizens Bank Park, which has taps for Flying Fish, Tröegs, Victory, Yards and others. CBP has also been named the best in the MLB for food and drink by Sports Illustrated and ESPN. The Philadelphia Union’s PPL Park is a great place for the beer loving soccer fan. While you are chanting with the Sons of Ben, you can enjoy Victory, Stella, Boddingtons or choose form over 24 different bottled beers available at the Snake and Shield. The Wells Fargo Center and Lincoln Financial fall way short of the mark. They have plenty of beer, but offer little for beer lovers such as ourselves. At these venues, you get a whole bunch of Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Coors Light. It’s a shame really, but maybe with an out cry from fans who love good beer we may be able to get these places to get their act together. Finally, the Lincoln Financial Center must have a “We Hate Beer Lovers” policy because their choices are downright awful.