Local priest debuts his own beer at Trapezium Tuesday night
PETERSBURG — It’s not every day that you hear of your local priest blessing his own beer, but that’s exactly what happened Tuesday night at Trapezium Brewing Company, located in Old Towne.
For the past year, Fr. Brian W. Capuano has been working with Trapezium Brewing Company to brew his own beer. The bourbon barrel brown ale was released during a special event on Fat Tuesday.
Fr. Capuano won a Brewer for a Day contest in 2018 that Trapezium held, and so he got to make his own beer. “James Frazer, the brewmaster, was like ’Well, let’s just start with this, what’s your favorite beer on the menu? Which is the brown,” he explained.
The beer called “Father Brian’s” was a smooth brown ale, described on the bottle as “Aged in Jim Beam barrels with glorious amounts of Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans. This brew boasts notes of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, coffee, oak, tobacco and black walnut.”
The afternoon kicked off with Fr. Capuano tapping the firkin at 5 p.m. Then, at 6 p.m., he began the blessing of the beer. After the blessing, the church choir performed a serenade. “Beer was traditionally brewed as an alternative to water. And also as a replacement food. So, the monks in the early days would often drink beer or ales as a way of fasting,” said Fr. Capuano, explaining some of the reasoning behind having the beer release on Fat Tuesday.
The blessing of the beer took place alongside a prayer. As Fr. Capuano began his blessing, he encouraged everyone to drink responsibly and reminded the crowd that he would be hosting confessions the next morning.
“Father Brian’s” beer was sold on draft and in 22 ounce bombers to go. A portion of all proceeds went to St. Joseph Catholic Church to help their stained glass window restoration project.
“The current church was built in the 1890s. And the windows are original so over the last seven years we’ve been working on restoring all the windows,” Fr. Capuano said. “In the midst of our conversations we picked one window in particular and that’s what appears on the beer bottle.”
Fr. Capuano was raised Catholic in Chester. “I started getting active in the trade [priesthood] when I was in college. I did a lot of mission work and I kept being involved in things and I talked to some of our priests.”
In college, Fr. Capuano spent a lot of time studying at Trapezium. “Originally I started going in there because I could get some work done. I was working on classes and there was white noise in the background. So, I would bring a big stack of books and sit in the corner.”
His visits to Trapezium didn’t stop after college. Fr. Capuano said it’s not uncommon for him to hold meetings with people at the brewery. “They’d much rather go to a brewery and sit down and talk than come to my office and talk. It’s a little less imposing and nerve wracking.”
And now Fr. Capuano is trying to start holding more events at the brewery. “We’re working right now with Trapezium on hosting a monthly event for the community.”
For more information on Trapezium Brewing Company, visit www.trapeziumbrewing.com.
Lindsey Lanham may be reached at 804-722-5155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.