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On December 3, I hosted a live chat to discuss whether or not brewing beer and spirituality had anything in common. Though I’d hoped for a large group of people, there ended up being only three of us who could make the chat. What we lacked in numbers, we made up for in depth of conversation, though. Using monastic brewing communities as a jumping off point, we talked about how brewing beer and the Christian spiritual journey have some common experiences. It was a rich conversation. Thanks to Russ and Brendan for sharing their time and insight with me. They also agreed to allow the transcript to be posted publicly. I’ve put it below. Perhaps we’ll do this again in the future… and you can join us!

Beer and Spirituality Chat.pdf
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UPDATE: You can find the transcript for the chat here:

This Saturday, December 3rd, at 1pm, PST I am hosting a live chat on beer brewing and spirituality. What has one to do with the other? That’s what we’re going to explore. In order to have as many people participate as possible, we’re going to use a simple, browser-based text chatting tool called Campfire. Here’s a link to the room:

Why am I doing this in the first place? Well, I’m working on a doctorate for which I am exploring the construction of metaphors for abstract spiritual concepts in a postmodern, consumer culture. One metaphor I want to explore is the process of brewing beer as an interpretive lens through which one might consider the claims of Christian spirituality.

More broadly, though, I am a homebrewer myself. I’m intrigued that monks have brewed fine beer for a long, long time. I think there must be something in the simplicity of the process, the magic of transforming the ingredients, and the duration one must wait to see it completed, that makes the brewing enterprise work so well with rhythmic monastic life. What can that teach us today?

Who should attend? Anyone, really. The more voices, the better. If you have a general interest in creative ways to conceive of spirituality, join in. If you like beer, join in. If you brew, join in. Even if none of those things describe you, join in! And if you can’t join in, help spread the word. Share this post through your different networks. You may know someone who would make a great addition to this conversation. Thanks! See you online Saturday…

EDIT (12.1.2011): I should note that this event will not be a presentation of material or an online lecture. Rather, it is an open forum for YOU to explore whether or not there might be anything to be learned from correlating beer brewing with spirituality. I will share some of my thoughts, but am interested in hearing what you have to say.