Philadelphia beer maker readying ‘Holy Wooder’ to boost Papal visit celebrations

By @diplomatist10 on
Pope Francis (L) embraces Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II
Pope Francis (L) embraces Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II during a mass on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian mass killings, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican April 12, 2015. Pope Francis on Sunday commemorated the 100th anniversary of the massacre of as many as 1.5 million Armenians as "the first genocide of the 20th century," words that could draw an angry reaction from Turkey. Reuters/Tony Gentile

The upcoming Papal visit to the U.S. will be a mirth-making event for Philadelphia Brewing Company, as it is giving finishing touches to 60 barrels of a new brew named as “Holy Wooder.” It means the pilgrims congregating for Pope Francis’s visit to the city will have more than water and wine to drink.

Bill Barton, co-owner of Philadelphia Brewing Co, said the concoction is a Belgian-style Triple with more than 9 percent alcohol content. Philadelphia is famed as a top frugal, snack-loving city, reports Biz Journals.

“We brewed one batch of it. It'll be about 14,880 pints,” Bill Barton said.

According to Barton, his team consulted Dennis Hewlett, owner of The P.O.P.E, or The Pub on Passyunk East, and figured out that “we had to have his blessing.”

Soul cleaner

“Holy Wooder” is expected to get ready in another two weeks and will be available for purchase for brewery's 700 odd clients, which also include the bars in Philadelphia and its suburbs. The Instagram feed of Philadelphia Brewing Co. claims that Holy Wooder “guarantees to cleanse your soul and set you on the path to righteousness.”

Another local brewery also announced a special, limited edition beer in honour of the Pope's visit to Philadelphia. The Cape May Brewing Co said it will be releasing YOPO or “You Only Pope Once” in September.

Meanwhile, the Pope Francis visit to Philadelphia will have an army of 10,000 volunteers to service the crowd at the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families. It will be one of the biggest events that the Pope will be attending in his first trip to the U.S. The volunteers will have an array of responsibilities, including greeting and directing pilgrims, providing translation services, assisting guests with special needs and other duties such as posting images and messages on social media, reports Associated Press.

Nearly 8,000 of them have passed criminal and employment background checks, according to Tom Klein, executive director of Verified Volunteers, the company handling the work. Donning uniforms and hats, the volunteers will be easily recognisable and will operate in teams and networks and will be led by a captain.

Meeting with Obama

The Pope has a hectic program in the U.S. The Papal visit will have stops in Washington to meet President Barack Obama and he will address a joint meeting of Congress. The Pope will also speak to the U.N. General Assembly in New York besides attending a multi-denominational service at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

(For feedback/comments, contact the writer at or let us know what you think below.)