Wednesday, March 22, 2006

German Beer Purity Laws Are Overrated

Ok, anytime you throw "German" "beer" and "purity" into the same phrase, you can't help but be a bit squemish. That's understandable.

I'm all in favor of different brewing styles. The all malt, hops, etc. thing has its place. But it doesn't mean that it is necessarily superior to beers which use adjuncts like fruit or flaked maize, etc.
Faced with such massive quantities of beer, Germans don't shy away from blatantly lying to get you to consume your fair share. For example: "German beer contains no chemicals or preservatives so you won't get a hangover." The editors here at SPIEGEL ONLINE have hundreds of euros worth of aspirin receipts that prove otherwise. But the quality is indeed excellent and dates back to the first food quality law ever passed, the 1516 Purity Law which limits beer ingredients to water, hops, malt and yeast.

At the time, I understand why this would be important. Who knows what they would put into beer around 1516?

Hat tip to Greg.

Beer might not be what it is today without that silly old law.
It's one way to go. Belgium has showed us you can get a lot of good beers without it.
Oh I agree. There's room for everyone. I just respect the German mindset. Beer is important. Do not screw with beer. If you want a better beer, brew it better, don't add junk.

Germans elevated the art, and Belgians expanded it.
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