Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Church of Beer

This morning whilst standing on the patio "walking" the dog (it was pissing down and the dog has an aversion to getting soaked having just woken up, I entirely understand) it struck me that the beer loving world, Zythophilia if you will, has many parallels with the church world. Before I go any further though, yes I am aware that any analogy is flawed and this is just a bit of fun rather than an attack on any person's faith and to clarify, I am apathetic - I don't care what you believe, as long as you are a decent human being and buy your round in the pub.

Let us first of all consider the most evangelical, even Pentecostal, of beer drinkers - the "Zythogelical". Often to be found wearing the latest clothes, listening to the latest music and using the latest craze in social media, the Zythogelicals are the most visible and vocal of the various beer drinking denominations. Zythogelicals also tend to be the most fundamentalist about the beer they drink, "give me death or craft beer" being their rally cry. Their enthusiasm for the new brewery, the new beer is unrivalled and they will go to great lengths to partake in Zythogelical festivals and gatherings. As with evangelicalism, there is a charismatic wing to the Zythogelical world that actively seek out ever higher and more potent imperial highs. Zythogelicals are known to be very opinionated and when not at a festival or imperial experience opportunity can be found online, in particular on sites that advocate the rating of beer. Priests within the Zythogelical world can be identified by the many medals they wear.

Take a step away from the modern hubbub of the Zythogelical world for a moment though and you will find a quieter, more reflective denomination within the beer world, the Taverners. Taverners share the Zythogelicals' love of quality beer, but their house of worship, and leaders are markedly different. Forsaking the bright lights and thumping bass lines of Zythogelicalism, Taverners love dark wooden panelling, comfortable booths and when the chance arises, sitting at the altar, known as "the bar". For a Taverner, there is nothing better than supping ambrosia with a select few fellow Taverners and discussing the wider issues that affect this life, all the while experiencing their beer with an understated, knowledgeable appreciation. Within the Taverner world however, there is a clash of opinions as to how beer should be served, which has lead to Cask Taverners and Keg Taverners. The split though is largely amicable, as long as the beer is good. The Taverners are, if anything, the Methodists of the beer world.

There is of course a section of the beer drinking world that gets very little attention, the mainstream Pivniterians. Pivniterians are not elitist by nature, preferring to seek a universal common ground. The common ground they have found is in the appreciation of pale lager, almost to the exclusion of any other form of beer - chosen as it is the least offensive form of beer to the majority of people. Generally speaking, Pivniterians believe their faith to be a private matter and perform their rituals largely in the comfort of their own home. Often the only evidence of a Pivniterian meeting house is a number of used cans in the bin. Pivniterians are known to be suspicious of bottled beer, considering it "showy".

Naturally within any movement as diverse as Zythophilia there are people that travel freely within the major denominations, zythomencials if you will, just as there are those who fit no particular group and refer to themselves simply as zythophilians.

Zythophilia then, just as religion, is a fascinating study of the human race.


  1. It's those atheist teetotalers we have to defeat, not each other as we are only separated by the name we give our monotheistic god, beer.

  2. Heh-heh. I'm guessing you consider yourself a Taverner.

    I suspect that even the hardest-crusading burn-em-all Zythogelical considers herself to be a Taverner.

    Taverner is the only one that doesn't read like a description of other people.

  3. Interesting that you say "herself" - being inclusive or do you have someone in mind?

  4. I hate the awkward construction of "him/herself" or "her- or himself". So I generally just pick one. People generally know what I mean.

  5. I wonder what the conversion rate to and from Zythogelicanism is... Praise Beer!

  6. TBN, more of a Zythophilian with Taverner tendencies.


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