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rec.food.drink.beer FAQ [2/3] (revised 16-MAY-1997)
Section - 2-4. What is the Reinheitsgebot?

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     This is the German (originally, Bavarian) purity law that restricts
     the ingredients that can be used to make beer to being water, barley
     malt, hops, and yeast. In the 1516 version of the law, only water,
     malt and hops were mentioned, because yeast was not isolated until
     the 19th century by Louis Pasteur. The Reinheitsgebot is actually
     part of a larger document called the "Biersteuergesetz" or "Beer Tax
     Law" which defined what beer was and how it should be taxed according
     to strength.

     "Rein" means clean or pure; "-heit" means "-ness"; so "Reinheit"
     means "cleanliness" or "purity".

     In 1987, the Reinheitsgebot was repealed by the EC as part of the
     opening up of the European market. Many German breweries elected to
     uphold the Reinheitsgebot in their brewing anyway out of respect for
     their craft and heritage.

     The full text of the Reinheitsgebot, as it existed before 1987, is
     available via anonymous ftp in English or German from the archives
     (see later).

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Top Document: rec.food.drink.beer FAQ [2/3] (revised 16-MAY-1997)
Previous Document: 2-3. How are "ale", "malt liquor", and "barleywine" related to
Next Document: 2-5. What about the new "Draught-flow" (tm) system (AKA the

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