The breaking of bottles as part of the “christening” of ships is a crucial part of a tradition thought to date back hundreds of years.
A vessel’s naming marks its birth and asks for a blessing of good fortune and safety for her. In modern times the ritual has seen a bottle smashed against the hull.
One theory is that the the practice of using a liquid was introduced to mirror the use of water in christening services in the church. Champagne has been the drink of choice for the majority of bottle smashes, though submarines often home brew beer.