What Does Carlsberg Beer and a Cardinal Have in Common?

This has already been a week of rough news. Scandals in Washington. Tragedy in Oklahoma (please join CatholicVote in responding).

So how about something completely different?

Screen shot 2013-05-22 at 4.45.00 PM

One of the cardinals mentioned in this article.

Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, is now on Twitter, and he’s taking your questions.

Someone asked him recently, “after a hard day as the cardinal, what kind of beer do you drink?”

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No, this place does not make brasiers, it makes beers.

After responding wryly, “to be honest, I rarely drink beer in the evening,” Cardinal Schonborn reveals his favorite beer is Cardinal Lager, a beer that used to be made by the Cardinal Brewery in Fribourg, Switzerland (where Cardinal Schonborn studied and lived for many years … no, the university, not the brewery!).

Apparently the beer is also a favorite among the Swiss Guard.

(Then again, this factoid comes by way of this guy – whose goal in life is to drink a beer from every country that makes one – so take it with a grain of salt.)

This guy.

This guy.

Back to my story. Or rather, the story of Cardinal beer. Anyway, the brewery that makes Cardinal beer was bought by another Swiss brewery named Feldschlossechen in 1991. I guess in Switzerland it is a common thing to be in danger of being bought out by a larger, four-syllable competitor.

As it turns out, Feldschlossechen is Switzerland’s largest brewery. Sure, Switzerland may be a small country, but its inhabitants drink an average of 57 litres of beer a year. I don’t know about you, but if I found myself facing that kind of demand, I would probably want to snatch up all the breweries I could get my hands on to keep up with it.

A swiss man attempting to drink his yearly beer quota in one sitting.

A swiss man attempting to drink his yearly beer quota in one sitting.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end — especially if you are a brewery named Feldschlossechen and your name is German for “small castle in the fields” — in 2000, Feldschlossechen was bought by mega-brewery Carlsberg.

The new, flashy Cardinal beer website (Uber-18’s only, please) maintained by Carlsberg is quite something. The website goes to great lengths explaining how Cardinal beer is to be commended for being very “gefallt” and “geschmack” and other words I’m too lazy to look up in Google translate.

Also, the website promises that drinking Cardinal beer could make you eligible to win a “festival trip to Australia”, which is silly considering they should know Cardinal Schonborn lives in Austria, not Australia.

Maybe if the makers of Carlsberg didn’t spend all day, erm, sampling their products they wouldn’t need a remedial course in geography!

What’s the take away? Just remember, as you contemplate the crazy crooked world we inhabit — it’s not all bad. God has left us plenty of proof that He loves us and wants us to be happy. Today, that proof came to me by way of two cardinals.

Advice heeded.

Advice heeded.


Categories:Humor Uncategorized

  • Seamus

    I suggest that you familiarise yourself with the history of beer brewing and religious orders.
    For hundreds of years, various religious congregations brewed and sold beer.
    Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France all had “cloister” breweries. Famous brands like Paulaner still retain their famous religious logo for their brands.

    • jgbech

      Seamus, when I was an altar boy in the 50s I served a Mass with Father Murphy. I thought I smelled some liquor on his breath. He was stumbling as he ascended up the altar steps. I asked if he was OK to proceed. He said NO and left. That drunken priest was transferred to an unwitting parish and allowed by the arch diocese to continue his ministry.

      The message could not have been stronger. The Catholic Church condoned alcohol consumption by an alcoholic priest.

  • Bern

    Slight correction to the name of the Swiss beer: Feldschloesschen.
    I think you just misplaced the “e”.

    Hope I am right, but am open to correction. It’s a long time ago since I studied German, but I recognize the name of the beer since every few years I’ll go over to stay with some friends there.

  • Mark Polo

    You do realize that “Austria” is “Österreich” in German, so that there is absolutely ZERO chance that the beer is trying to cash in on Cardinal Schönborn while making a Geography error?

    Maybe my sarcasm detector is defective at the moment…

    • Thomas Peters

      Mark, yes, posts tagged “humor” tend to be sarcasm-laden.

  • JackB

    Our church back in Kingston, NY held a bazaar each summer. I ran a spinning wheel booth that offered liquor bottles as a prize. As the winners went off with their bottles a drunken brawl might break out. I asked Mom about the quandary of teaching one thing and doing another. She explained in her easy way “the church needs the money”. My father didn’t get off either, he manned the entrance and offered raffle tickets. Every where one looked there was some form of gambling.

    A whole ‘nother area was BINGO. Some churches offered their basements for the gathering as well as incentives. Some Bishops out west were abhorred by this that they stopped it immediately.
    I would humbly ask why is this so important to me and few others are not?



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