Breaking News on Beverage Technology & Markets


German brewers nominate Reinheitsgebot for UNESCO status

By Ben Bouckley+


Picture: Dennis Skley/Flickr
Picture: Dennis Skley/Flickr

German brewers hope to have their much-vaunted Reinheitsgebot beer purity law accredited as a UNESCO world cultural treasure in time for its 500th birthday in 2016.

An object of considerable national pride, the 1516 law dictates that water, barley and hops are the only three ingredients that can be used to brew beer. That said, the current 1993 brewing law also allows brewers to use wheat malt, can sugar and yeast, and bans the use of unmalted barley.

Dr Hans-Georg Eils, president of the German Brewers Federation, and Friedrich Duell, president of the Bavarian brewers Federation, said in a statement below: "If Germany is still regarded as the undisputed beer nation, then this is due to the purity law. It guarantees purity, quality and wholesomeness of beers produced according to this specification. For centuries this traditional craft technique was further developed and passed on from generation to generation.

"Despite their centuries-old tradition, the beer industry follows the purity requirement today for maximum transparency in the production of food and the highest level of health and consumer protection. The Reinheitsgebot ensures a degree of food security to envy the many other areas of the food industry, the German brewers. The inclusion of the nearly 500-year-old purity law for beer as a traditional craft technique in the list of world cultural heritage would be for the German brewers and maltsters appraisal and incentive," Eils and Duell added.