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Author Topic: New Beer Named After St. Theophan the Recluse  (Read 3794 times) Average Rating: 0
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jah777
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« on: December 03, 2013, 09:11:08 AM »

It is interesting to see that a new beer has been released by Three Taverns Brewery in Decatur, Georgia (USA) that is named after St. Theophan the Recluse. 





This beer is described as follows:

Quote
Theophan The Recluse
A Belgian-Style Russian Imperial Stout

Theophan the Recluse was a Russian monk known for the spiritual depth and complexity of his writings. We consider him a perfect namesake for this rich, complex imperial stout, brewed with eight specialty malts, dark Muscovado sugar and a Belgian yeast strain. Deep, mysterious, full-bodied and indefinably exotic, Theophan the Recluse is meant to transport drinkers to a place of deep contemplation, mystical insight and inspired conversation.

ABV: 9% | Bitterness: 60 IBUs
Glassware recommendation: 14 oz. Abbey Goblet
http://threetavernsbrewery.com/beer/

Of course, it is interesting to see that a beloved recent saint of our Orthodox Church was selected as the inspiration for this beer, considering the fact that our Orthodox faith and our contemporary saints are still largely unknown in America.  Surely, some Orthodox may see this and hope that the depiction of, and reference to, St. Theophan may inspire people to learn about him and his Church who might not have done so otherwise.  That being said, I admit that I find the reference to, and depiction of, this saint to be rather disturbing.  First of all, the saints should not be depicted on packaging that will simply be cast into to garbage (or recycling bin) and inevitably treated irreverently.  Secondly, St. Theophan was a great ascetic of the Church and his spiritual depth and insight did not come from drinking beer, as the text would suggest.  Drinking beer is not incompatible with a holy life, but it is a life of prayer and faithfulness to Christ that led St. Theophan to greater depth and insight, not a life of drinking beer.  Also, the depiction shows St. Theophan holding a chalice as if this were a goblet from which he drank beer, when in fact this chalice was used not for beer but for the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

To be clear, as a home brewer myself I certainly enjoy a well-crafted beer, and Russian Imperial Stouts are a style that I particularly appreciate.  If this were not named after St. Theophan I would have no problem buying and enjoying the beer.  I just do not think it appropriate to name beers after saints, depict saints on beer bottles, or imply that drinking beer will lead a person have anything of the depth and insight of the saints.

What do you think?
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2013, 09:14:11 AM »

I am a home brewer and wine-maker.  I also make labels for my wine.  I wouldn't put an iconographic representation on a label.  Naming and dedicating a product to a saint is one thing, but saying that drinking this beer will lead to deep contemplation is hyperbolic marketing.  Just plain dumb.
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 11:06:17 AM »

I wonder if the brewer is possibly Orthodox and in a well intentioned, but misguided manner, thought he was proselytizing?
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2013, 11:33:47 AM »

Handing me a beer with a saint on it wouldn't have worked on me.
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Santagranddad
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2013, 11:39:19 AM »

From a marketing point of view it appears to be having some very modest success, 'cos we're talking about it.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 12:01:22 PM by Santagranddad » Logged
jah777
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2013, 11:41:36 AM »

Well, I guess four of us are talking about it.  I'm not sure if that is success, though.   Wink
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 11:42:00 AM by jah777 » Logged
Santagranddad
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 11:48:55 AM »

Well, I guess four of us are talking about it.  I'm not sure if that is success, though.   Wink

Hence the cautionary, "...very modest success".  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 11:49:29 AM by Santagranddad » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 11:57:59 AM »

From a marketing point of view it appears to be having some very modest success, 'cos we're talking it.

Hahaha, that's all it takes.
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 12:00:21 PM »

I'm trying to quit drinking beer... but perhaps this is a sign that I should continue?   Wink
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2013, 12:02:29 PM »

I'm trying to quit drinking beer... but perhaps this is a sign that I should continue?   Wink

Dark beers have similar benefits as red wine.  It's good for cardiac health.  Are you drinking too much?  Or too much bad beer? 
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2013, 12:47:14 PM »

I'm trying to quit drinking beer...

Protestant!
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2013, 01:01:36 PM »

I'm trying to quit drinking beer... but perhaps this is a sign that I should continue?   Wink

Dark beers have similar benefits as red wine.  It's good for cardiac health.  Are you drinking too much?  Or too much bad beer? 

bad beer?  there is no such thing!   Wink
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2013, 01:03:48 PM »

I'm trying to quit drinking beer... but perhaps this is a sign that I should continue?   Wink

Dark beers have similar benefits as red wine.  It's good for cardiac health.  Are you drinking too much?  Or too much bad beer? 

bad beer?  there is no such thing!   Wink

Oh, how it would be good to not know of such horrors. What I have seen and tasted in my lifetime... Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2013, 01:07:29 PM »

I'm trying to quit drinking beer... but perhaps this is a sign that I should continue?   Wink

Dark beers have similar benefits as red wine.  It's good for cardiac health.  Are you drinking too much?  Or too much bad beer? 

bad beer?  there is no such thing!   Wink

Oh, how it would be good to not know of such horrors. What I have seen and tasted in my lifetime... Cheesy

I think most of us would find St. Theophan' s brew hard to swallow and we would prefer a lighter variety!
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2013, 01:19:22 PM »

I'm trying to quit drinking beer... but perhaps this is a sign that I should continue?   Wink

Dark beers have similar benefits as red wine.  It's good for cardiac health.  Are you drinking too much?  Or too much bad beer? 

bad beer?  there is no such thing!   Wink

Oh, how it would be good to not know of such horrors. What I have seen and tasted in my lifetime... Cheesy

I think most of us would find St. Theophan' s brew hard to swallow and we would prefer a lighter variety!

Well, I am a fan of darker, maltier brews, so it may be up my alley.  "Belgian-style" Russian Imperial Stout?  Who knows that it is.  I'll have to search it out and see if it's any good.  Then I'll burn the label and sprinkle it under my mulberry tree.
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2013, 01:45:14 PM »

^It was a play on words, like in "light" Orthodoxy rather than the ascetic ideal as represented by St. Theophan the Recluse.
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2013, 02:02:19 PM »

I'd buy it.  Old Rapustin is one of the highest rated beers of this type. 
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2013, 02:07:30 PM »

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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2013, 02:34:43 PM »

I'm trying to quit drinking beer... but perhaps this is a sign that I should continue?   Wink

Dark beers have similar benefits as red wine.  It's good for cardiac health.  Are you drinking too much?  Or too much bad beer? 

bad beer?  there is no such thing!   Wink

Oh, how it would be good to not know of such horrors. What I have seen and tasted in my lifetime... Cheesy

I think most of us would find St. Theophan' s brew hard to swallow and we would prefer a lighter variety!

Well, I am a fan of darker, maltier brews, so it may be up my alley.  "Belgian-style" Russian Imperial Stout?  Who knows that it is.  I'll have to search it out and see if it's any good.  Then I'll burn the label and sprinkle it under my mulberry tree.

I can have Old Rasputin any time (the brewery is only about 90 min away from me).  But the St. Theophan's is likely unavailable on the west coast.  A new brewery (with only a couple of beers) opened up recently called St. Florian's.  A couple of decent beers, but gets lost in the shuffle of all the other good ones.
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2013, 02:36:27 PM »

At least they could have gotten their Saints right! That looks more like St. John of Kronstadt than St. Theophan... And he's wearing a rather Latin looking phelonion (?). And - unlike Rasputin - he doesn't keep his fingers properly when blessing.

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« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2013, 02:46:30 PM »

^It was a play on words, like in "light" Orthodoxy rather than the ascetic ideal as represented by St. Theophan the Recluse.

Haha, over my head, but very good!
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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2013, 02:49:17 PM »

In the same vein also try Goose Island's Bourbon Stout or Cthulhu.
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« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2013, 02:53:08 PM »

At least they could have gotten their Saints right! That looks more like St. John of Kronstadt than St. Theophan... And he's wearing a rather Latin looking phelonion (?). And - unlike Rasputin - he doesn't keep his fingers properly when blessing.

I thought about that too.

I suspect that the 3 fingers are supposed to be a play on 3 Taverns.
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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2013, 02:55:01 PM »

At least they could have gotten their Saints right! That looks more like St. John of Kronstadt than St. Theophan... And he's wearing a rather Latin looking phelonion (?). And - unlike Rasputin - he doesn't keep his fingers properly when blessing.

I'm thinking that he's not really blessing, just holding up three fingers for the "3 Taverns" brand.


I doubt the owner of the brewery is Orthodox.
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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2013, 02:56:44 PM »

At least they could have gotten their Saints right! That looks more like St. John of Kronstadt than St. Theophan... And he's wearing a rather Latin looking phelonion (?). And - unlike Rasputin - he doesn't keep his fingers properly when blessing.



Yes, I noticed the same thing, although I have not seen St. John of Kronstadt depicted with a monastic klobuk and veil as is the case on the beer.  These images of St. John of Kronstadt most resemble the depiction of St. Theophan on the beer, in my opinion:



St. John blessing and holding a chalice:




St. John of Kronstadt is commonly depicted in priestly attire holding a chalice since he was a priest and was best known for his priestly service.  St. Theophan is sometimes depicted as a bishop and sometimes as a monk, since he served as a bishop until the time that he chose to spend the rest of his life in monastic seclusion.  The image on the beer does look more like St. John of Kronstadt with a monastic klobuk and veil rather than St. Theophan.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 02:58:11 PM by jah777 » Logged
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« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2013, 03:02:21 PM »

I doubt the owner of the brewery is Orthodox.

They must have reckoned that "John" won't sell as good as "Theophan", but they were after St. John's piercing look. The sloppy photoshop clearly emulates the Rasputin brand...
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 03:04:17 PM by Romaios » Logged
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« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2013, 03:06:39 PM »

In the same vein also try Goose Island's Bourbon Stout or Cthulhu.

 Huh  I know I'm missing something here, but.........what relation does Goose Island Bourbon County Stout have to Cthulhu ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cthulhu )?
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« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2013, 03:09:53 PM »

2 different stouts brewed by the same brewery. I live blocks away from their wrigleyvile location.
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« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2013, 03:10:03 PM »


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« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2013, 03:14:56 PM »

2 different stouts brewed by the same brewery. I live blocks away from their wrigleyvile location.

Aha!  Lucky you!!  Well, apart from being in Chicago.... Wink
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« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2013, 04:34:42 PM »

At least they could have gotten their Saints right! That looks more like St. John of Kronstadt than St. Theophan... And he's wearing a rather Latin looking phelonion (?). And - unlike Rasputin - he doesn't keep his fingers properly when blessing.



I thought the same thing. I think it's some non-Orthodox jacking our swag.
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« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2013, 07:56:49 AM »

That's it.  I'm starting a True, Genuine Orthodox Brewery.
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« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2013, 07:59:46 AM »

That's it.  I'm starting a True, Genuine Orthodox Brewery.

With only genuine, original ingredients and made using 'old style' processes and equipment. I 'll start washing my beer mug now. Cool
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« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2013, 08:14:43 AM »

That's it.  I'm starting a True, Genuine Orthodox Brewery.

With only genuine, original ingredients and made using 'old style' processes and equipment. I 'll start washing my beer mug now. Cool

AND NO SAINTS ON THE LABELS.  Just Koine Greek or Slavonic with no translations.  Free pure beeswax candle with every case. 
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« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2013, 09:21:45 AM »

You should seal the bottle with the beeswax. 
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« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2013, 09:34:00 AM »

Stoppered with all-natural cork, of course. 
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« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2013, 10:16:58 AM »

That's it.  I'm starting a True, Genuine Orthodox Brewery.

Will that be part of "World Orthodoxy" or one of those "vagante" breweries?
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« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2013, 10:28:12 AM »

That's it.  I'm starting a True, Genuine Orthodox Brewery.

Will that be part of "World Orthodoxy" or one of those "vagante" breweries?

I assure you, neither.  Look at my website and I will show you a legitimate list of brewmeisters proving succession.  Also, there is a historical account documenting how my brewery is the truest and most genuine.
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« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2013, 10:51:22 AM »

That's it.  I'm starting a True, Genuine Orthodox Brewery.

Will that be part of "World Orthodoxy" or one of those "vagante" breweries?

I assure you, neither.  Look at my website and I will show you a legitimate list of brewmeisters proving succession.  Also, there is a historical account documenting how my brewery is the truest and most genuine.
Yeah, yeah...this is what they all say...

I would rather taste the final product than believe the words of a website.  Send me a case of your "finest", and therein will lie the truth of this matter.
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