For most people, April 23 is just another ordinary day, but to beer-loving Germans, today is a celebration of the German beer purity law that some consider to be responsible for Germany’s famous beer culture. German Beer Day has been around since 1994 to commemorate the passing of the Reinheitsgebot on April 23, 1516… 498 years ago.
The nearly 500 year law requires that German beer must only be made from three ingredients: water, hops and barley malt. While slight modifications have been made to German beer brewing regulations over the years to allow for a few additional ingredients, there are still quite a few beers that stick to the original 1516 law.
For half a century, Germany has been able to stay towards the top of the charts with their beers, but sales have also steadily declined in recent years as Germans are turning to alternatives like wine and mixed drinks. The concept of microbreweries or craft beers has also been slowly catching on in parts of the country, pushing some to reconsider the strict brewing guidelines most larger breweries in Germany adhere to.
Photo: Jason Crane [Flickr]