My Seemingly Obligatory Thoughts On St. Patrick

Have a thought for Saint Patrick, the actual guy. Taken as a teen age slave from his native Wales to Ireland, familiar with all the details of Druidism from whose bondage he was destined to liberate the Irish race, able to paralyze those who would deter him from his mission and all we can do is get pounded in his name. Isn’t the 17th of March now a bit of a sad legacy given, at least in certain places, the celebrations reach a pitch which would make a Druid blush?

Craft beer fans seem to object to the St. Patrick’s Day as a general thing. Andy Crouch is turned off by the exploitation by big American breweries, the push by Guinness for a holiday is seen for the commercial exploitation that it is and slightly excruciating efforts are made to find another angle on green beer.

But not being Irish, not being American, no longer being a regular Guinness drinker and not being a person to go out and get sloshed in bars like some cheese-eating frat boy…what’s the harm? Isn’t the cheeriness associated with the day and the doings somewhat compelling? Aren’t there peoples from Patagonia to the Republic of Palau who ache with jealousy at the good PR the Irish get out of it? And, given all the free press about beer this time of year – if we are like Patrick to be evangelists ourselves – isn’t this a great opportunity for a teaching moment? Isn’t this, frankly, the sort of beer holiday that craft brewers would dream of making up if it didn’t already exist?

Saint Patrick can be associated with bringing the gift of civilization, of the pluck to take on an impossible task, of the enduring drive to achieve passion’s dream. These all seem great values you can associate with hard working craft brewers. Take back and take on the day, I say.

One thought on “My Seemingly Obligatory Thoughts On St. Patrick”

  1. [Original comments…]

    Knut Albert – March 11, 2009 10:32 AM
    It would rather be a task like the King I am named after, to try to turn the tide of the black (or green) stuff on that day. I think it’s better to use the rest of the year….

    Adeptus – March 11, 2009 10:42 AM
    Good PR? I’m not so sure, particularly on the US side where St. Patricks Day just seems reinforce those awful stereotypes of the Irish drinking themselves to oblivion, sawdust on the floor, and all sorts of plastic Paddy shamrockery. I don’t like or believe stereotypes about any nation, so it’s not just because I’m Irish.

    On the other hand, it’s a bit of craic, and I find it kind of funny that in some parts of the world many people beome “Irish” for one day. But please, lose the leprechaun crap! 😀

    I would have used the 17th as an opportunity to evangelise, and living in Germany I’m probably more “into” the idea of a day for Ireland and our patron saint, but I’ll be in Luxembourg, a dreary city. Is there not a patron saint for brewers? If so, does that saint exemplify the properties of pluck, drive and passion? If not, can we make one up? 😀

    Tim – March 11, 2009 11:46 AM
    Adeptus, the catholic church recognizes St. Arnold as the Patron Saint of Brewers.

    When should we celebrate St. Arnold’s Day?

    Adeptus – March 11, 2009 12:38 PM
    Well there you go! 9th of July apparently.

    Adeptus – March 11, 2009 12:48 PM
    Oh, just realised they have said Arnold of Metz (who should beArnulf of Metz), whereas Arnold of Soissons is the patron saint of Belgian brewers. It’s not clear who is the real patron saint of brewers, at least according to Wikipedia as it says the Metz version gets confused with the Soissons as they both carry rakes around the place. One says they both are, and the other says only Soissons Arnold is. Will have to check with my contacts in the Catholic church 😀

    Adeptus – March 11, 2009 12:58 PM
    Sorry for the spam, but it looks like there is a choice. So, lots of celebrations, or an election?

    Alan – March 11, 2009 1:59 PM
    No spam at all. You look like you are solving something!

    Adeptus – March 11, 2009 4:09 PM
    I’ll probably have to write to my old mate Benedict (né Ratzinger) to get the definitive answer 😀

    Knut Albert – March 19, 2009 2:03 PM
    Set up a calendar for us, we’ll pay our respects and drink to them all.
    Include all Norse, Celtic, Greek and Roman deities connected to beer as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *