The first bishop of my city was Michael O’Connor, an Irish teetotaler who looked askance at the local German monks who brewed their own beer. When he asked them to stop, the monks protested that they were simply doing what monks have always done.
Mike Sullivan, president of Catholics United for the Faith, passed me the following “Blessing of Beer,” from the old Roman Ritual of Pius V. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the benediction went back to the age of Benedict.
Anyway, here goes, to begin your next libation:
V. Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.
V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Oremus. Bene+dic, Domine, creaturam istam cerevisiae, quam ex adipe frumenti producere dignatus es: ut sit remedium salutare humano generi, et praesta per invocationem nominis tui sancti; ut, quicumque ex ea biberint, sanitatem corpus et animae tutelam percipiant. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
Et aspergatur aqua benedicta.
Blessing of Beer
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray. Bless, + O Lord, this creature beer, which thou hast deigned to produce from the fat of grain: that it may be a salutary remedy to the human race, and grant through the invocation of thy holy name; that, whoever shall drink it, may gain health in body and peace in soul. Through Christ our Lord.
And it is sprinkled with holy water.
I’m told that the translation first appeared at Hermeneutic of Continuity.