Bronx priest to start growing hops for local brewery

Regular readers of my Mission Management column may recall my story in September about Fr. Andrew O'Connor, who created a new line of clothing called Goods of Conscience. O'Connor said in that interview, "The soul of a parish is making."

O'Connor has found another opportunity for his parish: growing hops for a local artisan brewery called the Bronx Brewery.

According to the New York Daily News:

A Bronx priest known for creating his own clothing line has a new trick up his sleeve: Artisanal beer crafter.

The recently opened Bronx Brewery has found an unlikely partner in Rev. Andrew O'Connor of Holy Family Church in Castle Hill, who is reserving space in the church garden to grow hops, a seed that flavors beer.

"One hops yard takes three years to grow, so if we get wet hops that go directly into the brew, it will make a nice fresh beer, which is prized," said O'Connor, head of the parish for nearly five years. "So that's the advantage of growing locally. People like things that are made in the Bronx."

O'Connor, the fifth of nine children in an Irish-Catholic family from the Midwest, found the six-month-old brewery online a few months ago and contacted its owners. He was already a fan of the New England Brewery and Goose Island Beer Company in Chicago, and a proud possessor of a new growler -- a special beer bottle that seals carbonation.

This past week, The Wall Street Journal and its blog did stories on O'Connor.

It's Fashion Week here in New York City, and O'Connor and Goods of Conscience held their own unique fashion show, which I attended. Held in Transfiguration Church in Chinatown, O'Connor assembled a cast of young parents with an infant, young children and young adults -- all dressed in Goods of Conscience clothes. Over the course of an hour, O'Connor re-enacted the life of a Catholic through the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and matrimony.

Afterward, the attendees enjoyed dim sum and Bronx Brewery beer, which is quite tasty.

For more on Goods of Conscience, click here.

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