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Besides wine, are there any alcoholic drinks (beer, liquors or liqueurs, etc.) associated with any religious rituals or customs?

I am deliberately not interested in wine because it is associated with the eucharist and the Roman Ritual contains a blessing for wine which is associated with the Feast of St. John.

The Roman Ritual also has a blessing for beer which I exclude as a response to this question as well as which beers are associated with Lent. Easter Beers and beers associated with any Christian liturgical season are to be excluded also.

This question is open to religious rituals and customs of any belief, whether Christian, or otherwise. The brewing of beer is not to be considered a ritual either.

  • It's not specifically a religious ritual, but the production of Trappist beer seems to be in the ball-park of this question – Canadian Coder Jun 12 '17 at 19:08
  • Wine is also commonly associated with the Greek God Dionysus – Canadian Coder Jun 12 '17 at 19:13
  • From the ancient Egyptians to the Mayans and the Trappist and Cistercian monks there are many religious rituals around drinking non-wine alcohol. This question is almost too broad.. – farmersteve Jun 13 '17 at 13:22
  • I know you aren't interested in wine, but just for completeness, most Jewish religious rituals involve drinking wine. – afeygin Jul 20 '17 at 21:34
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According to this link Pastafarians have many holidays dedicated to alcoholic beverages including daiquiri day, Vodka day, wine day, lager day and many, many more.

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Of course there are! 'associated with' allows for a great deal of latitude. In fact, just in beer itself, there are several beers that are associated with, but not directly a result of, religious customs.

Lenten beers are an entire category in and of themselves, but since you don't really want to hear about the giant selection of Bocks and their variety of flavors and the rich history therein, we'll skip those for now.

Whisky as indicated here has been associated with religious rites. Mead has been associated with various rituals, mostly from the Scandinavian regions. Some of these rites and rituals are so ubiquitous that it's fairly common to hear people ascribe the origin of the phrase 'honeymoon' to drinking mead. Chartreuse, 'the only liquor so good they named a color after it', is brewed by Carthusian monks.

These are just a few examples; some others, besides beer, wine, whisky, mead and chartreuse, include;

  • ayahuasca, which isn't specifically brewed to be alcoholic, but tends to be stored and fermented
  • kefir, which is technically haram, forbidden in islam, but definitely does get fermented
  • kombucha, if you want something fun, which typically isn't part of a traditional religion (that I know of), but read the article. It's pretty funny.

There's a lot of interrelation between alcohol and religion, because yeast has been around for a long time, and so have various religions. Dig deep enough, you'll hit a religion that uses the drink.

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Whisky and wakes were written about in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake as well as being sung about by the Dubliners. Unfortunately this seems to be anecdotal, as I struggle to find more modern references. Beer and sports (some follow it religiously). Champagne and new years.

  • Can you provide a link for Irish wakes? – Ken Graham Jun 16 '17 at 10:47
  • @KenGraham, Thanks for pointing that out. it seems that what I was told/believed regarding the wake was not true, except for story books. I edited my answer. – Atron Seige Jun 16 '17 at 11:04

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