How does a pub make up for mistakenly trying to kick out a group of celebrating seminarians? By naming a beer after them and calling it the “Thirsty Priests.”
Tim Lewis is the PR Manager for Brains, the company which owns the City Arms Pub in Cardiff, Wales. He said that re-naming one of the seminarian’s favorite beers was a small thank you for the group’s good humor in being mistaken as a bachelor party and nearly kicked out of City Arms Pub. “We wanted to do something as a ‘thank you’ to the priests for taking the misunderstanding in such good spirits,” said Lewis, according to Wales Online.
Described as a “rich, warming ale with a clean, rewarding finish,” The Rev James beer was renamed the “Thirsty Priests,” with the added slogan “saving souls and satisfying thirsts.” It was added to the pub’s tap this past weekend.
While celebrating the July 29 ordination of Father Peter McClaren, a group of seminarians dressed in their cassocks entered the City Arms Pub, only to be turned away by staff members who mistook them for a bachelor party. “The staff thought they were a stag. We do have quite a few issues on the weekends with parties wearing fancy dress so it is our policy to turn them away,” said assistant manager Matt Morgan, according to the BBC.
But as the seminarians were about to leave the bar, the manager overheard them praying, and, realizing the establishment’s mistake, invited the men back in for a round of beers on the house. The seminarians took the error in good humor, and were warmly received by staff and customers for the rest of their time at the pub. The whole affair was amusing, noted the seminarians, and the men were encouraged by the positive interaction with the community — which also enabled the locals to engage the seminarians in questions about the Church.
Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff, who is also a fan of City Arms Pub, said he was happy to hear about the seminarians' interaction with the community, noting that “Priests are of the community and for the community they serve.” Adding to the amusement of the evening, one member of the group, Reverend Robert James — who was ordained a deacon last June — was partial to a beer resembling his own name.
The Rev James, a popular ale on the bar’s menu, is now rebranded at the establishment in honor of the seminarians. The Archdiocese of Cardiff applauded the pub for its good humor over the viral news, jokingly adding that “a number of our clergy, including the Archbishop of Cardiff, frequent your bar so don’t turf any more out please!”