Toasting to the patron saint of beer

Published: June 17, 2013, 4:28 pm, by Scott Rappold

saint arnold

Some religions around the world forbid alcohol. It’s safe to say Episcopalians aren’t among them.

So for the “Only in Colorado” file, the Chapel of our Savior Episcopal Church in Colorado Springs opened its venerable grounds in the Broadmoor neighborhood Saturday for the first Feast of Saint Arnold, a beer/wine/cider/spirits festival honoring the patron saint of beer.

“Episcopalians believe it’s an individual’s responsibility and we don’t preach against it,” said organizer Brian Bennett, aka “Saint Arnold” in the photo above. “

Or, as one of the pastors on-hand enjoying tasting told me, “What was Jesus’ first miracle? Turning water into wine.”

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On the historic church grounds, with Cheyenne Mountain as a beautiful backdrop, festival-goers enjoyed unlimited samples from more than a dozen companies. While everyone has their own favorites – why I seldom write beer reviews – some personal favorites included Trinity Brewing’s Three Flower Saison, a flowery concoction perfect for a summer afternoon;  Pikes Peak Brewing’s Imperial IPA, a blast of hops at 10.5 percent alcohol; and Da Yoopers, a cherry pie-tasting treat from Rocky Mountain Brewing.

The event was to raise money for charity and introduce the public to the historic church, which occupies two city blocks with its well-manicured and wooded grounds. Bennett said the gates hadn’t been open to the public in more than 30 years.

He hopes it can become an annual event.