German brewers cheer 500th birthday of beer purity law


BERLIN: German brewers will be clinking glasses this year to the 500th anniversary of their “purity law,” even as craft label designers complain the decree is cramping their style. Known in German by the verbal mouthful “das Reinheitsgebot,” one of the world’s oldest food safety laws limited the ingredients of the amber brew to just water, barley and hops, although yeast was later added to the approved list. A Bavarian nobleman and early consumer rights advocate, Munich’s Duke William IX laid down the law on April 23, 1516, worried that the medieval staple was being adulterated with sawdust, soot and poisonous plants.



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