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Nov 08, 2016 | Kevin Thompson

Brewery Blessing Brings People To the Well

“O gracious God, who opens hands and fills all things living with abundance,” began the Rev. Sean Steele as he opened a service of blessing at Back Pew Brewery in Porter, Texas on All Saints Sunday. The brewery, housed in a converted church building, was packed with patrons as Steele led them in special prayers recited at the brewery’s mill, dedicated well, brew house, brite tanks and taproom.

“It’s theologically significant that we are here because in the Judeo-Christian tradition, important things happen at wells,” Steele told the more than 290 people from brewery customers and the several missional communities of St. Isidore. “It’s not because the water is magic … it’s because holy things happen when people gather there.” 


Participants joined in responses and sang along to music provided by the Highway 75 bluegrass band. Steele emphasized the importance of welcoming strangers at every opportunity. “At a well, Jesus shows up and reaches out his hand and says you, the other, are welcome,” Steele said. “I think we need that now more than ever.”

Founder and brew-master Bobby Harl initially asked Steele to only bless the well at the brewery but that quickly turned into a full service that covered the entire brewing area and the grounds. "It really was a joint effort between us and the St. Isidore folks," said Harl.

"Anyone can gather and gathering around good people is what is important in life," said Harl. "The fact that we are in an old church and that we are Back Pew Brewing didn’t hurt for us now to make our beer with blessed water." 

For more information on Back Pew Brewing, go to