Tag Archives: #beerpuritylaw

“Ein Bier, bitte!” #germanhistory

The Beer Purity Law from 1516

     In April 2016 the German Beer Purity Law celebrated its 500th birthday. This law, decided by a committee in Ingolstadt headed by old Herzog Wilhelm IV, stated that beer brewed in Bavaria was allowed only to contain barley, hops and water. This makes the Purity Law the oldest valid, still-enforced food statute in the world.
     Before hops was used to conserve the beer, all sorts of herbs and other ingredients were used, some quite harmful, actually. There have been notations of brewers using fly agaric mushrooms, ox bile, sloe, oak bark, thorn apple, wormwood (absinth) among other things as a preservative.
     Over the years the Purity Law had been expanded to include yeast, because the function of the yeast was not known back then. The term barley has also been clarified as barley malt. Today, German beer is required to use no other ingredients than malt, hops, yeast and water. No artificial flavors or additives. Over the years, many foodstuffs have suffered negative press releases. German beer brewers are proud to say that because of the  Reinheitsgebot (this link goes to the the purity law translated into English) from 1516, their beer is guaranteed to satisfy every time!
     √     Here’s a link to a virtual brewery tour:  Brewery Tour  
To start the tour, click on  ‘Zur virtuellen Brauereiführung’
Then click on the brewery doors to enter. ‘Weiter’ means ‘to continue’ and ‘Schliessen’ means ‘to close.’ 
     √     Here’s a link: How to say, “One beer, please,” in 50 languages:
     √     Have a great weekend and don’t drink and drive!