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With stained glass, brick walls and large sanctuaries ideal for holding vats and lots of drinkers, churches-turned-breweries attract beer lovers but can grate on the spiritual sensibilities of clergy and worshippers.At least 10 new breweries have opened in old churches across the country since 2011, and at least four more are slated to open in the next year. The trend started after the 2007 recession as churches merged or closed because of dwindling membership. At the Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh, an early church-turned-brewery that opened in 1996, patrons slide into booths crafted from pews.When St. John the Baptist Church was desanctified and sold to Casey, Roman Catholics in the diocese voiced their opposition, leading to the deed restrictions to stop other closed churches from becoming bars and clubs.Churches are uniquely difficult to renovate, preservationists say.
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