Well not all beer, but this year Germany celebrates 500 years of the Reinheitsgebot, how do I pronounce that I hear you ask, try “Rhin-house-ga-boot”. In English it’s the German Beer Purity law which was introduced on April 23rd 1516 in Bavaria and stated that beer could only be made from water, hops and barley.
Where is the yeast? Well this was present but was not known about until 1857 when Louis Pasteur discovered the fermentation process. That’s a whole other history lesson let’s get back to the Purity Law.
The law was created to ensure all beer produced in Germany were produced using quality ingredients using only the best processes giving the beer purity. This law became part of everyday German brewing and was written in to tax laws on production and was even embraced by other brewing nations who wanted a badge of honour.
It was only in 1987 that the European Court seeing this law as a restriction on trade in the market struck it from law allowing other ingredients to be used without restraint. Many German brewers however, still stick to the original law for their brewing process as a matter of pride and tradition, so if you’re in a Bavarian Beer House or just fancy raising a glass to the pioneers of beer reach for a German beer this month.
Be sure to check out the Boutique Beers range, including Krombacher who stand by the law to this day!