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Cerevesariis feliciter

Ceterium censeo cerveiam esse bibendam.

– “As for the rest, I am of the opinion that we should have some beer.”

I found this anonymous maxim in a Web search after I used the term “cervesian” yesterday. I like the word, having perhaps seen or heard it in other places. I do not claim to have coined it but on the other hand its appearance online is minimal, limited to a #cervesian or two and the peripheral use in Latin and Italian texts I can’t really explain.

Cervesian appears to refer only to things long past, and not in any current context. But I think it’s time for a revival; the thing about beer is, as far as I know, it lacks an equivalent to Bacchic or Dionysian, to use the popular Roman and Greek terms relative to the Gods of wine or drink. Wine drinkers might call themselves oenophiles; the homebrewing magazine Zymurgy bills itself as the magazine for beer lovers, but zymurgy is the science of fermenting and, further, the term fermentology extends to all things zymurgic, from yogurt to champagne.

Cerveza, certainly, is well known as Spanish for beer, and The Beer Drinker’s Bible defines cervesia as “the Latin name for beer adopted by the Romans as they moved westward and discovered the Gauls’ version of beer.” The under-rated French ability for making beer being another topic: Chef Claude Scaviner of Le Manoir d’Hastings in Normandy, where I lived for two months, taught me that the best apertif is not a whisky or pastis – he loathed the practice of his many British patrons ordering just such a pre-prandial – but a beer, his choice in 1980 was the Alsacienne biere Kronenbourg.

So I believe Cervesia is an applicable term, a moveable goblet.

Cerevoise is a French word based on the Latin cervisa that is now outdated. It described the old style of ale made without hops. No, can’t say cerevoise is in common use.

“Cerevesariis feliciter,” is a Roman saying for “long life to the brewers.”

As they say in Latin … amen.

By Kirby Neumann-Rea

Writer Kirby Neumann Rea, an editor who lives in McMinnville, excerpted this from his 2020 journal of a month without alcohol, his co-called “Hanker Management.” He developed his appreciation for great beer at Bogart’s Joint in the Pearl, before it was the Pearl, c. 1981, and has never looked back ...


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