Saturday, June 4, 2016

Talking over Reinheitsgebot

To some degree....the world needs Germans.  They are masters of a process.  They will sit around and talk for hours, and eventually reach a point where they say a law, a process, or a standard way....should be forced upon ensure things are done right.

So, I pulled this out of Wiki, and it's simple words drafted in 1516 by some Bavarian folks over beer.  They wanted one standard method of making beer, and one standard recipe for the contents.

The Reinheitsgebot states:

We hereby proclaim and decree,

By Authority of our Province, that henceforth in the Duchy of Bavaria, in the country as well as in the cities and marketplaces, the following rules apply to the sale of beer:

From Michaelmas to Georgi, the price for one Mass [Bavarian Liter 1,069] or one Kopf [bowl-shaped container for fluids, not quite one Mass], is not to exceed one Pfennig Munich value, and From Georgi to Michaelmas, the Mass shall not be sold for more than two Pfennig of the same value, the Kopf not more than three Heller [Heller usually one-half Pfennig].

If this not be adhered to, the punishment stated below shall be administered.

Should any person brew, or otherwise have, other beer than March beer, it is not to be sold any higher than one Pfennig per Mass. 

Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, market-towns and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities' confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail.

Should, however, an innkeeper in the country, city or market-towns buy two or three pails of beer (containing 60 Mass) and sell it again to the common peasantry, he alone shall be permitted to charge one Heller more for the Mass or the Kopf, than mentioned above. Furthermore, should there arise a scarcity and subsequent price increase of the barley (also considering that the times of harvest differ, due to location).

We, the Bavarian Duchy, shall have the right to order curtailments for the good of all concerned. — Bavarian Reinheitsgebot of 1516

(coming from Eden, Karl J. (1993). "History of German Brewing". Zymurgy 16 (4).)

What few realize is that this Bavarian rule took off and was the standard across most Germanic states within a few years.  It destroyed the cherry-beer and spiced-beer production of northern Germany, and it was only in the past hundred years that the Bavarian rule was lessened.....allowing for the creation of literally thousands of different tastes of beers in Germany.

Today?  Chocolate beer, strawberry beer, apple beer, coffee-beer, etc.  They all exist because the rules were put aside.

No comments: