Beer Purity Law The wording
The historical background
Day of the Beer Purity Law
The German brewing trade
Alive and well throughout the centuries…
Anyone who is familiar with the history of the legal background of the Beer Purity Law and the fundamental conditions for the rise and emergence of the German brewing trade can hardly be surprised that the Beer Purity Law should ultimately also be incorporated in German constitutional law and be consistently observed by German brewers to this day. The quality of beer brewed in compliance with the Beer Purity Law was so convincing and the pride in the complete mastery of the brewer’s art using only four ingredients was too evident to allow this law to fall by the wayside of history.
… and finds its way into Imperial law
The unification of national law after the foundation of the Second Reich in 1871 prompted other German states to align with the Beer Purity Law. Baden adopted the Beer Purity Law in 1896, Württemberg followed in 1900, though similar rules had been decreed there back in the 18th Century. From 1906 it applied throughout the whole German Empire. It was anchored in the Beer Tax Law, which states that beer must be brewed using only malt, hops, yeast and water.
the Weimar Republic …
The Weimar Republic also adopted the Beer Purity Law. Bavaria made its membership of the new republic in 1918 conditional upon, among other things, the continued validity of the Beer Purity Law throughout Germany.
… and the Federal Republic of Germany
In the Federal Republic of Germany the Beer Purity Law has its legal basis in the Beer Tax Law. This states that only hops, malt, water and yeast are to be used in the brewing of beer (=absolute Beer Purity Law). The Beer Tax Law further governs the trade in beer (§ 10). This law states that only beverages brewed in accordance with the provisions of § 9 of the Beer Tax Law may be placed on the market bearing the description “beer”.