Papal Visit, Papal Brew

While the Upper East Coast gears of the six day Papal visit to NYC, Philly, and D.C. with  Catholic basilicas, parishes, and churches preparing themselves for the Pope and selling Pope Francis paraphernalia, four brewing companies have decided to commemorate the Papal visit to Philly by brewing limited edition bears for the event. So, here is a list of the Papal brews: Cape May Brewing Co’s #YOPO (You Only Pope Once), Philadelphia Brewing Co’s Holy Wooder, Manayunk Brewing’s Papal Pleasure, and Crime+Punishment’s Jesus Wept.

One of the most Tweeted brews thus far is #YOPO by Cape May Brewing Co in Cape May, NJ. Not only has this beer been Tweeted the most but it has made its way through social media and been featured in the Huffington Post, US News, Philly Voice, and Philadelphia CBS local news. So what is this famous Papal brew like? According Cape May Brewing #YOPO is a pale ale with an “unholy” amount of hops that equals three pounds per barrel. So, there are nine varieties of hops, including several name winners in a recent report by the Brewer’s Association like Simcoe and Citra. Further this honorable brew contains a 5.5% alcohol content and will be offered on tap in limited addition in the Philly area.


The Holy Wooder brew by the Philadelphia Brewing Co. is said to be a brew that “guarantees to cleanse your soul and set you on the path to righteousness” while being the official beer of the Pope, although this could be contested by other brewers in the Philly area. This soul cleansing beer was developed in conjunction with The Pub on Passyunk East (POPE) in South Philly and is brewed as a Belgian style Tripel with 9% alcohol content. The brew contains one batch, the equivalent of 60 barrels or 15,000 pints and will only be available as a draft to the pub’s 700 clients including bars in the Philly area starting in September.

Manayunk Brewing Co. has created a rather holy and blessed brew. Yes, the brewing waters for Papal Pleasure were quite literally bless by Father John Kelly of St. John the Baptist (Catholic Church), the Catholic church that is in the same neighborhood as Manayunk Brewing Co. The owners of the brewery wanted to give their clients something special and unique to drink during the Papal visit as well as giving a nod to the Catholicism that can be found in the neighborhood. Father John Kelly admitted this was his first time blessing the brewing waters for a new beer. With holy qualities of the beer aside, the brew will be a Belgian amber ale that is infused with oak from Malbec wine barrels and Candi sugar from South America. Both ingredients are popular in Argentina and is a nod to the Pope’s Argentinian roots. According to the brewers the taste of the beer is oaky with a hint of cheery and plum, doesn’t sound all that bad. If this beer was not brewed for the Papal visit would make a wonderful seasonal beer. This brew is the only beer that will sold as a draft and in 22 oz. bottles in select locations in Center City.

Father John Kelly blessing brewing water.
Father John Kelly blessing brewing water.

Jesus Wept. Well, not much is known about this Papal beer but what is known is that the brew will be gose that is brewed with wheat, salt, and coriander. Given the name of the beer this brew is guaranteed to be bitter and a little salty like bitter holy tears. Like all other Papal beers that will be on offer, Jesus Wept will also be offered in limited amounts.

Maybe we the Pope visits Philly he’ll enjoy a pint of Papal beer.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s