Today (August 29) commemorates the beheading of Saint John the Baptist, but I'd like to take a look at why this great martyr and forerunner of Christ could not drink beer. When I was studying the Synoptic Gospels, I became particularly intersted in the "aramaisms" (Aramaic phrases transliterated in Greek) found in the Gospels.
I came across this interesting Aramaic word in Luke:
"For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink [σικερα]; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit." (Luke 1:15)
In Aramaic sikera or שכרא means "beer" and it derives from the Akkadian shikaru meaning fermented barley water, i.e. beer. I do a lot of homebrewing and so I know what happens when water with mashed barley malt ferments. You get beer!
This means that Saint John the Baptist never enjoyed a glass of wine or even a beer. A small price to pay for being the greatest man "born of women" (cf. Luke 7:28).
So if you start up a micro-brewery, don't name it after this holy prophet - he has little experience in the craft or pleasure of beer.
St. John the Baptist, pray for us.