A rabbi, a priest and a minister will walk into a bar during Philly Beer Week.
And it won’t be the first time.
Father Kirk Berlenbach of Roxborough’s St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, along with Rabbi Eli Freedman, Congregation Rodeth Shalom on N. Broad St., and Washington, D.C., Pastor Bryan Berghoef will hold court once again at Fergie’s Pub in Center City for “A Rabbi, a Priest and a Minister Walk into a Bar a Second Time,” part of Philly Beer Week.
Their appearance last year was a hit.
“What we do is each of us takes a few minutes to talk about our passion for beer, that’s part of why we’re all there,” Berlenbach says. “Also how we see beer as a vital part of our spiritual lives and our understanding and connection with God. Each of us has our own little take on it.”
Hey, some like ales, some like lagers. The three men of God will deliver initial statements and then take questions. The event is as much about bringing ministry to where the people are as it is about the type of hops in a craft beer.
“We’re trying to help people see that the world of established religions is bigger and more welcoming than many people might have a pre-conception of,” says Berlenbach, who will also join Freedman at “Support Our Food System: A Brew Haha!” on June 5 at the Impact Hub in Northern Liberties. “We like to challenge pre-conceptions and help them see that it’s all more interesting than they might think.”
‘Every day is Beer Week’
Father Berlenbach is partial these days to the saison Belgian style of ales. “It’s a little spicy, a little hoppy,” he says. “Very effervescent.”
Speaking of Belgium, city brew enthusiast Daniel Neuner won this year’s Beer Week raffle to travel to Belgium to brew this year’s Beer Week beer. He and a few of the city’s brewers went over and brought a little Pennsylvania honey over to sweeten things up.
“We had the honey in our luggage,” said William Reed, co-owner of Standard Tap in Northern Liberties, Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown and a founder of Philly Beer Week.
The result, the Philly Triple Belgium Ale, a collaboration between Brewery Dilewyns in Belgium and Philly’s Dock Street Brewing, will be sprung Friday at 7 p.m. at Opening Tap at at the 23rd Street Armory.
“We’ll have over 40 local breweries and the lead up is the Hammer of Glory, which is a large ceremonial mallet — an oversized sledge hammer — that we use at the opening tap, Reed explains. “We run a relay at all the bars and breweries and each time it arrives at a bar, that person is responsible for it.”
There will be hundreds of beer-themed events across the city over the 10 days of Beer Week. It was started in 2008 and has inspired more than 100 similar events around the world, Reed says.
“It’s bigger than I thought it would be,” he adds. “For some of us, every day is Beer Week.”