In July of AD 1241, a pressing matter was presented to Pope Gregory IX (reigned 1227-1241). The minds of Christendom were perplexed with a complicated theological problem: Would an infant baptized with beer be validly baptized?
Surprisingly, the question made it all the way to the Pope.
From the papal letter Cum sicut ex to Archbishop Sigurdof of Norway on July 8, 1241, Pope Gregory IX wrote the following:
Since as we have learned from your report, it sometimes happens because of the scarcity of water, that infants of your lands [Norway] are baptized in beer, we reply to you in the tenor of those present that, since according to evangelical doctrine it is necessary “to be reborn from water and the Holy Spirit” [John 3:5] they are not to be considered rightly baptized who are baptized in beer.
So there you have it. Although beer is mostly water, it doesn't qualify as proper matter for the sacrament. Save the Pale Ale for the baptismal reception.
HT: Father Pio Maria Hoffmann, CFR