If you need an excuse to have a good German beer today, you’re in luck. Every April 23, Germans celebrate Beer Day to mark the anniversary of the German beer purity law of 1516. This longstanding law, known as the Reinheitsgebot, is the longest lasting food quality law still in use today, and it requires that German beer be made only from three ingredients: water, hops and barley malt.
There have been slight modifications to the law in recent years to allow for a few extra ingredients, but true German beer enthusiasts still consider the original 1516 regulation to be the one to follow. The most recent modification to the rule went into effect in 1993 and is technically not a part of the Reinheitsgebot, although some breweries would like to have you think it is. In fact, the 1993 revision is known as the Vorläufiges Biergeset, and in order for a German beer to officially follow the Reinheitsgebot, the original three 1516 ingredients must be the only ingredients.
Does your favorite German beer follow the 1516 Reinheitsgebot? Just because the label claims to follow the rule, check the list of ingredients to make sure. Feel free to share your findings by leaving a comment below.
Photo by Simon Wicks via flickr