Beer and Hymns: The Video

Many thanks to Gregg Brekke at Sixview Studios for his fantastic work on this video. For those who have asked what Beer and Hymns is, or how we do it at our church, this should help address some of your questions. Check it out!

We first enjoyed Beer and Hymns at Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina and HAD to bring that joy and alternative community dynamic back home with us. A year later, we’re going strong, and we’re about to be featured in a story about it on NPR.

About Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He has a memoir on faith, family and parenting called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date, and Hachette published his first hardcover book, "postChristian: What's left? Can we fix it? Do we care?" in 2014. His first novel, "Blood Doctrine," has been optioned by a Hollywood production company for a possible TV series.

Christian is the cofounder and cohost of the Homebrewed CultureCast, a podcast about popular culture, current events and spirituality that has a weekly audience of 25,000 people (

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  • Cliff Cole

    I am trying very hard to frame a faithful and objective response to the video “Beer and Hymns.” I watched with particular interest as Portland FCC is my home church that nurtured me through very formative years and challenged me to enter the ministry, a decision that I never regretted but is now somewhat unsettling as I view seeing beer consumed with the singing of hymns.

    Let me say that neither beer by itself or older hymns by themselves are offensive to me. We have alcohol in our home and sing the type of hymns shown here in our worship services where my wife and I attend, but I do not see the two together as anything but contradictory. I know that the Emergent Church views faith through lenses somewhat different than mine, and I support the efforts of creative worship experiences and the fact that some ‘may not be attracted to a church’ without beer with their hymns, a coffee shop in the foyer or a band that rocks the hall.

    Certainly, I will be labeled as old fogy and I plead guilty in the sense that tradition is still what I want, but I remain unconvinced that beer with my hymns will either deepen my faith or attract me into a worship experience. So, Amy and Christian, convince me.

    • Christian Piatt

      Hi Cliff. I am curious what you mean by beer and singing these songs as “contradictory.” I certainly understand being of a traditional mindset and simply not caring for the environment it presents, but what do you see as contradictory? And I guess, I would wonder if you feel similarly about Passover Seder meals in judaism where they sing old spirituals and drink, or worship services in the Anglican or Catholic traditions which combine alcohol (wine) and song in their worships? Or the Trappist monks or nuns who make wine or brew beer for a living?

      • Cliff

        I have reflected on your challenge to the word ‘contradictory,’ and believe the word was mis-used by me. Alcohol in its various forms has been a part of religious observances for centuries. To make a party of communion is not what I want, personally.