Saint Arnold - Patron Saint of Brewers
"From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world" - St. Arnold of Metz.
Saint Arnold was born to a prominent Austrian family in the year 580. Even back in those days the Austrians were famous for their love of beer, and admired for their brewing prowess. Beer was a proud Austrian tradition that was not wasted on young Arnold.
As a young man, Arnold entered the priesthood and began moving his way up that earliest of all career ladders. At the age of 32, he was given the title Bishop, and in 612 was named "Arnold, Bishop of Metz." (Metz is in France.)
He is said to have spent his life warning peasants about the health hazards of drinking water. Water was not necessarily safe to drink during the dark ages, especially around towns and villages. Nasty stuff. Arnold always had the well-being of his followers close at heart.
Beer, on the other hand, was quite safe. Arnold frequently pointed this out to his congregation. He is credited with having once said, "From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world." It goes without saying that the people loved and revered Arnold.
In 627, Saint Arnold retired to a monastery near Remiremont, France, where he died and was buried in 640.
In 641, the citizens of Metz requested that Saint Arnold's body be exhumed and carried from the monastery to the town of Metz for reburial in their local church - The church where Arnold had so frequently preached the virtues of beer. Their request was granted.
It was a long and thirsty journey, especially since they were carrying a dead bishop. As the ceremonial procession passed through the town of Champignuelles, the tired processionals stopped for a rest and went into a tavern for a drink of their favorite beverage - Beer. Much to their dismay, they were informed that there was only one mug of beer left, and that they would have to share it. That mug never ran dry and the thirsty crowd was satisfied.
Every Saint needs a miracle. That's how the Church decides you are a Saint. The story of the miracle mug of beer spread and eventually Arnold was canonized by the Catholic Church for it.
Saint Arnold is recognized by the Catholic Church as the Patron Saint of Brewers. He is recognized by Beer Church as a top-notch, supernatural beer stud.
Several other Catholic saints have been associated (officially and unofficially) with beer and brewing. Here are just a few that might be worth researching if you have greater interest.
Saint Augustine of Hippo
Saint Wenceslas of Czechoslovakia (aka "Good King Wenceslas")
Saint Brigid of Kildare
Saint Arnold of Soissons
Saint Arnou of Oudenaarde
Saint Veronus of Lambeek (think Lambic)