This Way to St. Boniface

As promised, here is the tale of the visit to St. Boniface in Ephrata, Pa. last Saturday.

First, a brief story about St. Boniface. He was an English Christian missionary to now is what Germany way back in the day. The Teutonic tribes worshiped gods such as Thor. As  such, there was a tree that symbolized Thor’s might and power. St. Boniface chopped it down to show that Thor was a phantom and not to be feared or given adulation. After the Germanic peoples saw that St. Boniface was not destroyed by his insolence, it open the door to hear the message of the Gospel.

Sr. Boniface Brewery has appropriated both the name and the spirit of the story to slay the American sans Belgian beer god Bud and other macrobrewery deities.  It is fitting such a nanobrewery is located in Ephrata for on the east side of town is one of those Death Star Wal-Marts that has decimated the town and left a bunch of Consignment and Pizza shops in its wake. The old hardware store is gone as is the lifeblood of the town. Frankly, it is depressing. It is such a sad irony that those who predominantly shop at Wal-Mart, the working class, are cutting their own throats when spending their cash. That cash goes to Arkansas and to China predominantly. Good jobs be gone!

Here is one of the would-be tree slayer owners:

As I noted in my 40/40 Tour (see last May 2010 postings until July 2010 for all of the glorious details), microbreweries are a return to craftmanship to beer-making. St. Boniface is a case in point (actually they only fill growlers now).

Quite nice to drink some of this after chopping down a Tree Idol for sure. Funny that St. Boniface slapped its label onto my Spring House growler.  No doubt I am going to have to scrub off this pesky label before going down to the Tap Room of Spring House. I am sure they are not going to take too kindly to this upstart upstaging a more established brew. A nanobrewery taking on a microbrewery who are both taking on the macrobreweries. The idea of a small fish, a larger fish, and a shark come to mind. The shark is losing its way but still has sharp teeth. Once the big boys start to make better beer, the smaller breweries are going to have a real fight on their hands. There will be a strong temptation to sell the label and brand to a beverage conglomerate and who will then drain the taste and equity out, so that the big boys can go back to make so-so beer. The beer at St. Boniface is strong and flavorful…the Belgian Dubbel tasted a little yogurty which I think means it might have been served slightly before it was ready. Belgians need to be aged a bit and this seemed a little premature. I am not sure that is the scenario but that is my working and drinking hypothesis. The Stout was both strong and mild. Interesting. The beer that I took home was an Ale that would have been an IPA if they had hopped it more. Not sure what that makes it name-wise. Nonetheless, by judging how my buddies were filling their glasses at the barbecue on Saturday night, the beer was a hit.

May these axe-wielders at St. Boniface be victorious in their tree-felling mission!

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3 responses to “This Way to St. Boniface

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