Today is a day to celebrate, on this day in 1516 the “Reinheitsgebot” or “German Beer Purity Law came into force.
Reported on the Deutsche Welle website (and on the radio this morning), today is German beer day. If you are lucky enough to be in Munich there is a fountain of beer that is dispensing 1000 litres of beer free of charge.
For those who don’t know about the Reinheitsgebot, it set a price for a serving of one Maß (just over a litre) of beer and that the beer should not contain anything other than barley, hops and water. Anyone breaking these rules would have their barrels confiscated.
According to the German Wikipedia page for “Reinheitsgebot”, the relegations were adopted for 3 reasons: (1) to stop bad beer, (2) to set the price of beer and (3) to ensure there was wheat and rye for the bakers to make bread with.
As a non German I have to say there are some very tasty beers out there that don’t follow the Reinheitsgebot (I know, it’s sacrilege) but that won’t stop me toasting later with a good bottle of Pils. This time next year I think I may have to be in Munich…