Today, celebrate the Feast of St. Amand, the patron saint of bartenders, brewers, and vintners.
Saint Amand (c. 584 – 675) was born in the Lower Poitou of France to a noble family. He became a monk when he was twenty-years old, in defiance of his family. There are some stories that his family actively tried to prevent him from becoming a monk, possibly even trying to kidnap him. Amand eventually moved to Bourges where he lived in solitude on bread and water for fifteen years. After a trip to Rome, he became a missionary bishop and spent the rest of his life evangelizing across much of Europe, including Flanders, Germany, Belgium and the Danube region.
He met with varied success and a number of miracles are attributed to him, including bringing a hanged criminal back to life. When he was about ninety-years old, he died in his monastery. Living that long is certainly quite an incredible feat, especially during that time in history.
The reason he is associated with brewing and vintners is that much of his missionary work was spent in beer and wine making regions.