Craft ~ brews and reviews
By Greg Richardson
June is the month when summer begins and the
month when Fathers Day happens.
There are people who live in parts of the
world where June is first month when weather can be expected to be
warm on a regular basis. In other hemispheres June is the beginning
Here in Southern California June is the
month of gloomy mornings, even when we will have snow skiing until
August. Morning fog holds on as the sun slowly burns through a
marine layer of moisture.
Our cool, calm mornings give some of us
opportunities to do more morning reading. We reserve our visits to
breweries and tasting rooms for the afternoons.
I remember growing up, far from the nearest
marine layer, spending my summers reading. Our local public library
had a reading program each summer. I was a competitive reader.
There are several books about craft beer and
spiritual life I recommend for your reading enjoyment this summer.
They also make excellent gifts for Fathersí Day.
I have interviewed Bryan
Berghoef, author of Pub
Theology and Pub
Theology 101, a couple of
times. As a pastor in Michigan Bryan began inviting people into
conversations about significant questions over beers at local
Bryanís book Pub
Theology tells the story of
how he came up with the idea and how his initial group got started.
He writes about how conversations he arranges have changed his own
His ebook, Pub
Theology 101, is a how-to
resource which helps people take the steps of starting and
sustaining their own conversations and groups.
Another book which describes how beer can
contribute to meaningful discussions of spiritual life is Craft
Brewed Jesus by Michael
One book which looks at brewing from a more
monastic perspective is Brew Like a Monk by Stan Hieronymous. Stan
describes the more contemplative aspects of brewing and explains
some of the reasons monasteries have such a sustained tradition of
brewing excellent beers.
A book I recently found is The
Beer Drinkerís Guide to God by William
Bill Miller is an Episcopal priest who was
also co-owner Padreís, a live music venue and watering hole in
The Beer Drinkerís Guide to God is
an informative and engaging book. It is filled with stories which
illustrate how beer contributes to spiritual life and understanding.
Bill describes the book as showing being
upright does not mean we have to be uptight. He weaves together
stories from his life as a pastor and preacher, conversations with
Trappist monks, and evenings in his bar. His essays encompass the
spiritual importance of generosity, sacrifice, openness, and
The stories in The
Beer Drinkerís Guide to God illustrate
how beer helps us appreciate spiritual life. The conversations and
adventures he describes show us again how spiritual life draws us
into relationship with other people.
There may be times when we find ourselves
having conversations we never expected to have about new
perspectives and insights. Each of us finds ourselves drawn into new
friendships which spark our thinking.
Summer is an excellent season for us to
explore new beers and make new friends. Long summer evenings give us
extra opportunities to stretch ourselves and try unfamiliar flavors
in new breweries and tasting rooms.
I hope these books will set us off on new
adventures, new explorations.
Greg Richardson is a spiritual life
mentor in Pasadena, California. He is passionate about craft
brewing, listening, and monks and monastic life. Greg is a
recovering attorney. Gregís website is StrategicMonk.com and
he is on Twitter @StrategicMonk.
You can email Greg at StrategicMonk@gmail.com,
and he writes a blog for the Contemplativechannel