Belgian church launches new beer to raise funds for growing flock

A Roman Catholic church in Brussels, Belgium, has turned to beer brewing as a way to raise funds for its growing flock after it was almost forced to close because of a lack of members.

(REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)Belgian priest Jeremie Schaub poses with a new beer called Ste Kat' at the Sainte-Catherine church, as he launches the new beer to raise funds for renovation works on the building in Brussels, Belgium October 5, 2017.

In partnership with local beer brewery startup, the Brussels Beer Project, St. Catherine's Church created and launched a new brand of beer called Ste Kat.' Named after the church, this beverage is a fruity pale ale which carries a strong flavor, Reuters detailed.

"You could say that it's an image of the church, that it's effervescent, full of life," said Father Jeremie Schaub of St. Catherine's Church.

He added: "It's also a little bit the image we want to portray of St. Catherine's Church."

A few years ago, the Brussels city council almost decided to close down the Catholic church and turn it instead into a market, theme park, or housing. Now, the church will sell its new Ste Kat' beer to raise funds for its renovations.

Ste Kat' will be available at a church shop, as well as restaurants and cafes in central Brussels. The local brewery will brew about 50,000 bottles for a start and see how well the product does in the market.

Meanwhile in the U.S., a Presbyterian church has also joined the beer bandwagon and has infused the ministry with brewery. In August, United Church of Christ minister Rev. Damen Heitmann and his two business partners opened the Steeple Brewing Co., a church-themed brewery, The Omaha World-Herald reported.

Steeple Brewing Co. has a Fellowship Hall where patrons come in to drink beer while sitting down on the old church pews and develop friendships. Heitmann said they are not really aiming to convert their customers, but primarily offer a place where they can have fellowship with one another. However, he is still hoping that the brewery can also be used as an instrument to extend care and support to people who need it, just like a church would.