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?

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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.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


About Author


Thomas Peters, 31, grew up in Southern California and attended college in Michigan. He has two graduate degrees in theology. He began his award-winning American Papist blog in 2006, which went on to become one of the most popular Catholic blogs in America. He was one of a handful of Americans invited to the Vatican’s first-ever Bloggers’ Meeting in Rome. Peters has appeared in dozens of TV, radio and online media outlets over the years discussing the intersection of Catholicism and political activism, debating topics related to life, family and religious freedom, in addition to writing and speaking about the future of social media and online organizing. Since 2010, he has served as an advisor to CatholicVote.org. He and his wife Natalie live in Washington DC. You can follow him on Twitter @AmericanPapist.

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