IMG_4587Bryan Berghoef is a pastor, writer, and pub theologian, and author of the book, Pub Theology: Beer, Conversation, and God.  He insists that good things happen when we sit around the table together and talk about things that matter, and what better setting than at the pub, over a pint. Bryan has been facilitating weekly pub conversations for the past nine years.

Bryan and his wife, Christy, live in Holland, MI where they are helping form a new progressive faith community: Holland UCC. They have also led communities in Washington, DC and Traverse City, MI. They both sense that community is at its best where all feel welcome, where love of neighbor is extended and received, and simplicity and depth are at the core. Bryan’s writings have appeared in the Huffington Post, Sojourners, and Patheos, among other places.

Tune in to Pub Theology Live: Tuesdays, 9pm, or listen later to the podcast. Bryan and Ogun Holder and special guests join for a weekly conversation on life and faith, meaning and identity.

Want Bryan to host a discussion at a pub near you? Interested in having him speak at your church? Send him a note:  bryan [at] pubtheology [dot] com.

Follow @pubtheologian on Twitter.


  1. Wayne Brouwer says:

    Thanks for your recent reflections on how to engage and understand the Bible, Bryan, both on your blog and also in the Banner FAQs.
    I think you would find my recent book “Covenant Documents: Reading the Bible Again for the First Time” (Cognella, 2009) a helpful addition to other books you referenced. In fact, it is a good background, summary, overview and introduction to the whole Bible (not often found these days), in a very engaging manner. I hope you will check it out and let me know what you think.
    All the best…
    Wayne Brouwer

    • Hi Wayne-
      Thanks for the note. Am interested in checking out your book, but it’s a bit on the pricey side. Was hoping there’d be a less expensive Kindle version. 🙂 If I get my hands on it – be glad to let you know what I think.


  2. Congrats on the new book! As an indie bookseller I’m really excited to see this is soon out. We’ll get it in soon, and maybe review it at our BookNotes. We’ve got a few mutual friends, some overlapping book tastes (you didn’t say what sort of beer you prefer) I gather, and appreciate your efforts. We aren’t that far from DC so maybe can connect some day…

    • Hi Byron-
      Nice to hear from you. The book is now available on Kindle or paperback. Hope you’re able to give it a read. It would be great to connect over a brew sometime! We’ll be in DC this fall.


      P.S. Would love a review or endorsement!

      • Bryan
        ….my name is Skip Stock, Jon Stock is my brother, Jim Stock of Cascade books is my son, and Matthew Stock who did your cover is also my son. Jimmy gave me your book because I am kind of a pub theologian but with Jack Daniels. My brother Ted and I preach to a Church that meets in our old airplane hanger and is full of broken people, including the Preachers. We make our living in the lumber business but along the way met old radicals like Will Campbell and others. Your book has some great stuff in it, good luck in DC. skip stock@yahoo.com

      • Skip-
        Thanks for the note! Glad you were able to check out the book. Sounds like you have some really neat things happening there! May be out on the West coast later this summer – would be fun to connect.


  3. Hi there Bryan,
    In addition to life as an anglican pastor and life coach I’m a review writer for a number of British and European review publications.
    Might you send me a review copy of your book….?
    Congratulations on the achievement of getting this into the public domain.
    I look forward to reading the work of your hand and heart!
    Grace and peace,

    Rev Dr Johnny Douglas 077990-72845
    Flat D, 35 Buxton Street, Spitalfields London E1 5EH

  4. Hi Bryan,
    A mutual friend- Byron Borger- just turned me onto your site. For the past six years or so I have been trying to take a similar tact- using beer as a means to draw people into fellowship and conversation. We do it by hosting a beer tasting and homebrew club at our church (St Timothy’s Roxborough in Philly). After a while I too thought it was producing some really interesting experiences and insights so I last month I launched my own blog here on wordpress.
    Anyway, I look forward to reading your book and if you are willing, to keep up a conversation on best practices.

    • Kirk-
      Thanks for stopping by. Your group sounds great – would love to sit in some evening. Be interested to hear your thoughts on the book, and definitely let’s keep in touch about how to keep good conversations going!


  5. Hey Bryan,

    I saw your post on the Digital Marketer Website as I was looking to hire some guest bloggers. More about that in second.

    What you are doing is incredibly cool, impressive, and encouraging. I recently got married (this past August) and moved to Kansas City, where I’m embarking on a business coaching start up. This past summer I concluded two years of working for Campus Crusade for Christ at the University of Missouri, after I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2010. I truly appreciate combining faith, intellect, and cultural relevancy. Thank you for doing what you are doing.

    My brother, Ryan, recently moved to DC! He is an incredibly intelligent man, but has fallen away from the Lord. I would love to direct him to your conversations if that’s ok.

    Annnnnyway, I had no idea that looking for a guest blogger would lead me to all of this! Back to blogging – if you are interested in guest blogging, please let me know. I would have e-mailed you, but on a cursory glance did not find your email address. Mine is cl@clbusinesscoaching.com.

    Thanks again, and I look forward to hearing from you!

  6. Hi Bryan, it’s nice to have stumbled across your blog. I recently bought and read Pub Theology – very good book. In fact, it prompted mention of pub theology sessions in a recent sermon (“Outside the Lines,” which can be read at http://www.enarcheblog.wordpress.com). I admit that wasn’t a major focus of the sermon, and it was mostly used as a vehicle to get from point A to point B in the sermon, but still, the reference came from reading your excellent book. Cheers! – Dwain Lee

  7. Hi Bryan – Keep up the good work.
    I’m a husband of a friend of a friend – also just perused your book and am intrigued. I enjoy and am challenged by the kinds of discussions you describe…I would love to be part of or even start such a group in TN… I noticed there are some active groups in Chattanooga. I am about 90 minutes from there in Maryville.

  8. Beth Bingham says:

    Hi Brian,
    I just started a Pub Theology group in East Lansing, MI and would love to get it listed on your site. It will be every Monday at 6:30pm at Dublin Square Irish Pub at 327 Abbot Rd. Folks can email me for more information at pubtheologyeastlansing@gmail.com. Thanks!

    Beth Bingham

  9. Phil Washburn says:


    I just stumbled across your blog and recognized your name. I think we were in Ocean City together back in the 90’s. Great to see how God has led you over these years. I have had many a great conversation about God over a pint through the years. Looking forward to reading your book.

  10. deryll says:

    Hey Bryan!
    It’s been a couple of years but we neighbored at the 2nd (hot, humid Goose Fest). Had hoped to connect again but it hasn’t seemed to work out. Been pondering Jesus for a lot of years and the “Court” for a few days now. Here is a thought I’ve been pondering over several pints. We must meet up again sometime; I still owe you a pint. Deryll

    Jesus (on doctrine)
    On two occasions, according to the Good News as told by Matthew, Jesus distinctly cautioned strict observers that one must not use the law (or what may be considered loopholes in the law) to undermine the spirit of the law.
    -Matthew 15 “honor parents”
    -Matthew 19 “honor your spouse”
    In Matthew 19 Jesus then goes a step farther. While society and the strict observer would call for following the norm; Jesus seems to pronounce an acceptance, at the least, and likely a true blessing on those who may for several reasons not “fit” the norm. He says that some have not fit from the womb, some do not fit because of what others have done to them, and some even choose paths that do not seem to fit “for the sake of the Kingdom.”
    Matthew 22 and Jesus noncompliance with details of Sabbath, dietary, and association norms seem to say that the two greatest commandments are the spirit of and final authority of the law. As Vincent Harding phrased it, “Love trumps doctrine, every time!”
    The “Court” in these past days has made, I think, a couple of Jesus decisions.
    -The healthcare law is to be judged on the spirit of the law and not on the unintended language which some thought would be a loophole to undermine the law.
    -A level of acceptance for those who many of us cannot understand is to be allotted. Jesus declared that some would not be able to receive his teaching. Some have difficulty receiving the decision of the “Court.” Those of you who are able to receive the teachings of Jesus and the decision of the “Court;” may you receive!

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