Daniel Blackman is a freelance writer, photographer, and media consultant based in London, UK. He writes news, features, and interviews for print and online Catholic (and some non-Catholic) news outlets. He has a BA in theology and an MA specializing in systematic theology and ethics.
A brand-new beer has been brewed to celebrate the 90th birthday of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
On Oct. 26, 2017, the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society at St. Mary's University, England, hosted a special event in Ohio to unveil Beer-nedict XVI: Pint-ifex Maximus!
It has been brewed as an authentic Bavarian-style 5.3 percent hefeweizen, by local Ohio brewers Hightower Brewing Company.
Centre director, Professor Stephen Bullivant and guests gathered at the home of Dr. Scott Hahn and his wife Kimberly, who kindly agreed to host, ahead of the Catholic Social Scientists conference in Steubenville, Ohio.
Dr. Hahn holds the Father Michael Scanlan, T.O.R., Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
As well as celebrating Benedict’s 90th birthday which was on April 16, Easter Sunday this year, the beer also honors the 25th anniversary of the Society.
Professor Bullivant said, “St. Mary's University launched the Benedict XVI Centre last year, with the Holy See's approval, to foster interdisciplinary research between religion and the social sciences.
“The Pope Emeritus honored St. Mary's with a visit in 2010 and, like him, we like good beer. So this seemed like a fitting and fun way for the Centre both to toast Benedict's 90th year, and to mark the 25th anniversary of the Society for Catholic Social Scientists.”
He added: “On a personal note, having played around with home brewing with creations like ‘Ale, Holy Queen!’ and ‘Blessed Beer Giorgio’—it has been a joy to leave it this time to the real pros at Hightower Brewing.”
In lighthearted comments, Marc Barnes, a Ph.D. candidate at the Centre, said, “What better way for the British and American allies to meet than over beer—certainly, a party over tea would have brought up old feelings between the nations.
“My hope is that the joy of being Catholic will spill over from this particular feast and inspire new, creative work among all the academics and intellectuals milling about between the bar and the bluegrass band.”
On April 17 Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was photographed enjoying beer from a traditional beer stein, with guests as his private Vatican residence, to celebrate his birthday. He also received a visit from his brother, Fr. Georg Ratzinger, and the Bavarian Minister-President, who brought him a basket of pretzels.