The Emperor released the Edict of Worms on May 26, 1521, officially declaring Luther and his teachings outlawed, only 3 weeks after Luther disappeared while traveling through the Thuringia forest. With the release of the edict, the reformation entered into a new and dangerous period.
It was most dangerous for those who proclaimed the gospel in areas like modern day Belgium, where the leadership was most loyal to both the pope and the emperor. In areas like this, the leaders were willing to attack the Luther’s teachings vigorously and ruthlessly, using the full force of the law.
When the monks at the Augustinian monastery in Antwerp, Belgium openly proclaimed Luther’s teachings, they found themselves opposed by the most powerful forces in the empire. Most of them recanted, but three, Henry Voes, John Esch and Lampertus Thorn, refused.
Their refusal resulted in their martyrdom.
Bitter Old Fecker Rustic Ales, based in Chelsea, Michigan, is a small batch brewery started by Nathan Hukill, an entrepreneur with an ideal lineage for brewing craft beer. His great grandparents were bootleggers in Detroit, running booze from Canada, who also ran a blind pig speakeasy out of their basement. Detroit police (including the Chief) were their main clientele. His great grandmother also made beer in her kitchen for the guys at the brickyard where she worked.
Nathan’s grandfather Cecil Fecker — rail worker, 17-year Ford employee turned weird angry recluse — left Detroit for Hillsdale, MI to start farming. Cecil started brewing in the early 80’s, naming beers after the things that inspired the recipes and included ingredients he grew or foraged.
After some frustration with trying to break into brewing, Nathan started Bitter Old Fecker, working under Cecil as an apprentice. During the start up process, Nathan took a job as an assistant brewer at Grizzly Peak, leaving after 18 months to focus efforts on Bitter Old Fecker exclusively.
Nathan and Cecil produce high gravity, bold beers brewed in a “rustic” style. No automatic equipment. Kettles, mash tuns, etc., stirred by hand in a brewery that can literally produce beer without the use of electricity. All beers are barrel-aged and include non traditional, foraged and locally sourced ingredients. All malt and hops are 100% US grown. His first brew, introduced in the Summer of 2013, is called Strutter, named after a nasty old rooster on Cecil’s farm. Darlin’, Kaplan, and Jet are brews that are soon to follow.
Jet is named after Cecil’s dog. For many farm dogs out here, life can mean a slow stretch of days, lazing in the shade on the family porch. But that’s not Jet’s life. Jet was rescued by old Cecil K. Fecker after a snarling dog fight on the farm down the road. Their love for each other was sealed in dirt and blood. Ever since, he hasn’t left his master’s side, and is a constant sentry on the farm. Jet’s quick to fight and sink his fangs into any intruder’s backside. This isn’t a friendship, but rather a kinship, born on the same black night, with the moon glowing like the devil’s eyes.
- James Kittelson – Luther the Reformer
- CFW Walther – Missouri Synod in Formation (1844 – 47): Essays of the Founding Fathers (editor: Joel Baseley)
- THM Akerboom – Emanuel University in Romania
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