Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017

Pope Francis’s trip to the U.S. was big news, but it didn’t always mean big business, as one local Philadelphia brewery found out. Now they have to unload holy beer at a discount.

Anticipating hordes of hard-drinking Catholics, 2nd Story Brewing in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood brewed up 12 barrels of their Pater Noster—a Belgian-style ale. Unfortunately, few people actually showed up to try it and, as of yesterday, they’d only sold about a third of the batch.

Brewer John Wible called the week of the pope’s visit one of the slowest weeks his brewery has ever had. “The biggest problem,” he told the Philadelphia Business Journal, was that the “city gave expectations to restaurants to over-prepare.” Other establishments in the area agreed. Nearby, the Plough & the Stars called it the worst week in their bar’s 18-year history.

To try to get its papal beer moving now that the pope has left the country, 2nd Story started selling pints of Pater Noster for just $5—still not dirt cheap, but a significant discount from its original $6.50 price.

Meanwhile, across the river in the neighborhood of Manayunk, the Manayunk Brewing Company sold out of its Papal Pleasure, described as “a pale ale brewed with Malbec grape oak and South American candi sugar,” without a problem. “That was the fastest beer we kicked like that,” said the brewery’s manager, Tracie Sanchez.

Maybe God just likes some breweries better than others.

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