Via Jim Forest, this wonderful story of how a Texas brewery came to possess a large icon of St. Arnold of Metz, a sixth-century the patron saint of brewers, written for them by the hand of a Russian Orthodox priest. Excerpt from the account given by the founder of St. Arnold Brewing Company in Houston:
The icon was completed in December 2000 and shipped over ahead of time, arriving at the brewery on December 26, 2000. In January 2001, Fr. Andrey sent us a list of materials needed for the fresco. These included year old slaked lime and marble dust – not your everyday items. We called around, discussed slaked lime plaster with old time plasterers (lime is rarely used today in building) and finally found everything needed. On February 1, 2001, Fr. Andrey and his son, Phillip, arrived in Houston after a 20 hour flight. On the February 2, they told us perhaps they would like to paint the fresco at his sister’s house. We didn’t like that idea and quickly went down to her house to delicately persuade him to our point of view, hoping to not make any cultural blunders. The next day he came up to check out our brewery to see if it would be suitable. We were brewing when he arrived and the sweet smell of malt filled the air. He began to warm to us. We showed him the malt, talked to him about our passion for beer. We tasted our beers. We were deemed worthy. He would build the frame at his sister’s house but paint the fresco at the brewery.
They have a new beer series called Icon, from St. Arnold. I’ve seen the latest in St. Arnold’s Icon line in Whole Foods in Baton Rouge. I’m going to buy some next time I’m in the city.