Día de la Cerveza Alemana: ¿por qué celebrarlo? - Beer Sapiens

The German Beer Day (in German Tag des Deutschen Bieres) is a celebration that has taken place every April 23 in Germany since 1994. The reason? Commemorate the Purity Law of 1516 ( Bayerisches Reinheitsgebot) decreed on this same day in 1516 by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria. But why celebrate it? and what did the Bavarian Purity Law really stand for in its time?

Bayerisches Reinheitsgebot, la Ley de la Pureza

Regulation of Beer

During the entire period of the Middle Ages, many decrees were created to regulate the taxes on beer, which maintained a certain privilege to the ruling classes and the clergy (who dominated the production of beer). beers at this time).

The monks at this stage brewed higher quality beer, because they had more time to spend on production, perfecting their recipes and selecting the best ingredients available. For this reason, little by little the nobles tried to legislate favoring modern breweries outside the monasteries, while increasing quality controls on them.

Monjes y la producción de cervezas

Over the centuries many different decrees were created (with different interests): in 1293 the Nuremberg city authorities ordered at the municipal level that in beers brewed in the region they could only use barley as cereal. In 1351, in the city of Erfurt, the fixing of the price and the amount of beer that each brewery could produce per year was promulgated.

But one law in particular was very important: the Bavarian Purity Law, published on April 23, 1516 by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria. Known in German as “Reinheitsgebot”, this standard was decisive in the development of the brewing industry and in consolidating the recipe for the drink inside and outside Germany.

What determined the Law of Purity?

Basically, it established what the beer ingredients should be: water, malted barley and hops, prohibiting the use of any other type of flowers, herbs, which were widely used at the time. In the case of wheat beers, which are very famous in Germany, for their production it was necessary to obtain a royal privilege, because the law was so strict that their infringement entailed the application of the corresponding sanctions, which, among others, included confiscating the illegal beer.

Día de la Cerveza Alemana: ¿por qué celebrarla?

There are other analyzes by historians and scholars about the real objective of the creation of the Purity Law (in addition to ensuring the quality and healthiness of beer), some of them are:

- Economic interest: through this law only the use of barley as cereal in beer was allowed, and it turns out that Duke William IV maintained a monopoly on this cereal in Bavaria, thus ensuring that brewers flocked to it for supplies.

- Bread vs beer: the idea would also be to avoid a trade war between brewers and bakers, since as wheat and rye are widely used in bread making, their scarcity could cause a rise in the grain price. So, to protect cereals, the law prevented the use of wheat and rye for beer, avoiding the increase in bread prices.

Ley de la Pureza

The Law of Purity Today

With more than 500 years of history, the Purity Law continues to be in force in Germany, but over the years it has undergone different adaptations following the different scientific, technological, in addition to incorporating other valid ingredients for brewing, such as wheat and yeast This is why many German brewers continue to apply it, thus demonstrating the great possibilities that it actually offers, with a remarkable variety of different styles of beer.

La Ley de la Pureza en la actualidad

Dia de la cerveza alemanaLey de la pureza

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