German Beer Day Marks 498 Years Of Beer Purity Law

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

German Beer Glasses

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]

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Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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