National #Beer Day in Germany…

April 23 is celebrated in Germany as National Beer Day.  In 1516, Frederik I of Bavaria introduced a law to guarantee the purity of beer.  The law is known as “Reinheitsgebot,” and it states that beer may only contain 4 staple ingredients; water, malt, hops, and yeast.  This law has been altered and retooled over the years to allow a little more leniency in the brewing world, including incorporating ingredients like wheat, sugar, and other tasty little components.  Originally put into law to not only keep beer pure, but to prevent price competition for rye and wheat, as well as maintain an affordable price on the beer itself.

It’s amazing to think that some of the most influential beers and beer styles came about from simply using four ingredients.  It really does help cast light on how dynamic different hops rhizomes, malt flavors, and even the different pH of water can impart unique characteristics on a brew.  Many beer experts can tell you which regions beer comes from based on the qualities of the region’s water supply and how that alters the beer that is made from it.  All of this amazement, and this crafting was occurring almost 500 years ago.  Blows my mind…and makes me thirsty.

So while I rummage the fridge for some German beer offerings, I hope you enjoy this little snippet of beer history.  It’s always interesting to see how so much can be done with limited resources while the major beer companies in the US do so little with unlimited resources.  Also, it’s always a good idea to know and appreciate history to fully understand the current state of affairs in any given subject.  Now, it’s time to celebrate German National Beer Day, so for all you folks out there, enjoy!  And drink educated, my friends!

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