Bavaria Celebrates 500 Years of the ‘Reinheitsgebot’

In 2016, the whole of Bavaria is celebrating half a century of the ‘Reinheitsgebot’ (Bavarian beer purity law). An everyday staple, a popular alcoholic drink, the cornerstone of a culture… If you ask people around the world what they associate with Bavaria, the answer usually is: "Beer", "Cerveza", "Pi jiu", "Biiru", "Peeva" and so on ... But what is it that makes the beers brewed in Bavaria so special? Why, exactly are they so highly regarded? Today we would like to tell you a little bit about the ‘Reinheitsgebot’.

500 years of the Reinheitsgebot - the history behind it

The Reinheitsgebot has its origins in what is known as the ‘Bayerische Landesordnung’ (Bavarian State Ordinance), which was passed in the year 1516 by Dukes Wilhelm IV. and Ludwig X. in Ingolstadt. Among other things, the ordinance specified the prices and ingredients used in Bavarian beer in response to increasing numbers of complaints due to poor beer quality. However, the name ‘Reinheitsgebot’ was given much later, in the year 1918, though four more decades went by before it became of relevance: it was only in the 1950s that in response to the increasing amounts of ‘Süßbier’ (sweet beer) from other parts of Germany, the Bavarian Brewery Association decided to ban the import of beer which did not fulfill the Reinheitsgebot. Shortly after this, the regulation was extended to include the whole of Germany.

What does the Reinheitsgebot mean today?

When it comes to the ingredients, nothing very much has changed over the last 500 years. Some passages of the law have been adapted over time due to the increasing knowledge. Originally, the three basic ingredients permitted were barley, hops and water. Since barley malt is more suitable for beer brewing, however, it soon replaced the barley. Other varieties of grain can now be used for the malt as well, which means that the Reinheitsgebot is now as follows: hops, malt, yeast, water. Incidentally: at the time, yeast was still undiscovered, which is why it is not included in the original listing.

We are celebrating at the Wirtshaus Ayingers

Thanks to the Reinheitsgebot, we are now able to rely on the quality of the beers that are sold in Germany. This calls for a celebration, and that is exactly what we will be having at the Wirtshaus Ayingers. Look forward to enjoying our anniversary menu between July 18th and 31st, with gastronomic creations that draw their inspiration from the liquid gold such as wheat beer soup, potato "bock" gratin and "Bieramisu". Our special 500 year celebratory menu including beer tasting is certain to set the pulses of our Bavarian bon vivants racing: "Obatzda" cheese, "Griebenschmalz" dripping, "Bierkas" cheese, and plenty more examples of tasty delicacies will be served together with specialty beers from the Ayinger private brewery. Enjoy!

Image source: Pixabay Unsplash

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