The purity requirement is predominant a legal regulation over permitted contents materials in the beer, in the German-speaking countries. The purity requirement can be essentially brought on the following denominator: “In the beer belong only hop, Malz and water “
table of contents
the purity requirement have one meanwhile well five hundred years old history. In the course of this time it through-lived three substantial developments.
- The Bavarian purity requirement of 1516 is one of the oldest food regulation regulations at all, which was country-wide ordered in contrast to earlier brewing orders.
- The assumption into national right, in particular the German purity requirement, is defined in the German beer expensive law. This taken place in the year 1906 - against violent protest of the German brewing economy, which accepted the “Surrogat prohibition” (the prohibition of sugar or unvermälztem grain in the beer production), however against a realm-far harmonization beer-expensively on the Bavarian level sträubte itself.
- The transfer in your-genuinly in the course the liberalisation of the EEC domestic market. The permitted additives are regulated in the “additive regulation”, beer after “German purity requirement” become as so-called. “traditional food” protected.
the Bavarian purity requirement was not the first law of its kind: From the following cities a decree is delivered, which concerned the quality of the beer: Augsburg (1156), Nuremberg (1293), calibrate-corrode (1319), Erfurt (1351), Munich (1363), land hat (1409), white lake in Thuringia (1434), Regensburg (1447). Some these regulations in the last decades again were only discovered. Probably no certifications are more received in many cases, so that this list has an exemplary character.
In Nuremberg 1293 were issued due to a hunger emergency that for the beer brewing only barley and no other grain may be used. In the pub law of the city white lake 1434 the components for the beer brewing was limited to water, barley malt and hop. Starting from 1453 there was also in Munich a such regulation,
between these municipal regulations and the soon following Bavarian purity requirement gives it still another important intermediate step: Duke George that realms issued Bavaria land hat, which old Bavarian central area for the duchy, which regulation that the Brauer were allowed to use only Malz, hop and water - “in avoidance of punishment at body and property”.
the Bavarian purity requirement
the Bavarian purity requirement became to 23. April 1516 of the Bavarian duke William IV. (Bavaria) issue in Ingolstadt. This decree adjusted on the one hand the prices, on the other hand the contents materials of the beer. It applied until 1998 as the oldest food act:
- Item we arrange, set and want with Rathe of unnser Lanndtschaft füran everywhere the Märckthen vie in the Fürstenthumb Bayrn auff the country also in unsern Stettn desáhalb hieuor kain sonndere order apply there from Michaelis to auff Georij ain measured Pfennig over ainen more müncher werung un from Sant Jorgentag bit on Michaelis measured Pfennig of the same over zwen werung and to that-end kopff are over drey bey nachgeferter Pene not given still outer gift kHz sol to become more haller. Where also ainer rivet Merrzn separate annder jetty prawen or otherwise would have sol ground och kains away jays then measured umb ainen Pfennig to give and verkauffen. We want also sonderlichhen that füran everywhere in unsern stetten märckthen un on that lannde to kainem jetty more merer stüchh dan allain gersten, hop un water taken un gepraucht are werdn. Which however these our order point finally over-far unnd never resounded sol from its gerichtsobrigkait dasselbig vas the jetty zustraff unnachlässlich in such a way offt it happen to be taken. however where ain brüwirt of ainem ainem pierprewen in unnsern stettn märckten or oversizes land jezuzeutn ainen Emer jetty zwen or drey kauffen and against more unnter the gemaynen pawrfuolck to pour out same allain however sonstnyemandes soldyemasss or the head jetties umb ainen haller jay then above is set would admit un pour out permit unnd unuerpotn.
- We order, set and want with the advice of our landscape that everywhere in the Principality of Bavaria both in the country as well as in our cities and markets, which do not have special order for it of Michaeli (29. September) to Georgi (23. April) measure (Bavarian, corresponds 1.069 litres) or a head (halfspherical table-ware for liquids - not whole measure) beer for no longer as a Pfennig Munich currency and from Georgi to Michaeli the measure for any longer as two Pfennig of the same currency, the head for any longer than three Heller (usual a half Pfennig) during menace of down aforementioned punishment to be given and not poured out is not.
- Where however one not Marches - but other beer would have to brew or in any way, it was to pour out and sell it by no means more highly than around a Pfennig the measure. Completely particularly we want that everywhere used in our cities, markets and in the country for no more beer of pieces than alone Gersten, hop and water and to be used being supposed.
- Who crosses and does not keep these our menace knowingly, that is from its court authority to the punishment this barrel beer, it so often occurs, to be unnachsichtlich taken away.
- Where however a restaurant operator/barkeeper of one beer-brew in our cities, markets or in the country beer contain buys one, two or three buckets (about 60 litres) and again pours out, is to the common farmer people it alone and otherwise nobody permitted and unverboten to be, the measure or the head beer is prescribed around Heller more expensively than above to give and pour out.
- Also should be reserved us as national princes, if from lack and raising the price of the grain strong weight-sneeze developed, after the classes are different also the area and the ripe times in our country to order to the general use restrictions how such is at the conclusion over the Fürkauf in detail expressed and set.
One of the reasons for the regulation was apart from the price regulation probably again the Sicherstellung of the food supply: More valuable wheat or rye was reserved the bakers. The food chemist Udo Pollmer sees a further reason therein, which added reassuring and at the same time preserving hop to brewing to use and other “aufmüpfige”, about to Rosmarin, to forbid.
Another interpretation sees the purity requirement than first anti-drug law, which psychoaktive substances, how the Bilsenkraut (Hyoscyamus nigara) should banish, from the brewing process. Indication for this opinion is the designation Pilsener, which can be derived etymologisch from the designation Bilsenkraut - by the way exactly like the name for its brewing tradition Pilsen admitted of Czech place.
The friends of the barley juice had come, as from other sources admits, in the Middle Ages on adventurous ideas, in order to give to their Gebräu a special taste or make it more durable. In order dark beer too received, was added to short hand soot. Also chalk flour was used, in order to make sour beer become again enjoyable. Even fly mushrooms for “special” refinement are delivered.
Interestingly enough is not to here anywhere from yeast the speech, although it is indispensable for brewing process. As reason for the fact it is frequently accepted that the existence of such micro organisms was simply still unknown. This is correct only in as much as the exact impact of the yeast was unknown with the alcoholic fermentation. Yeast was well-known actually, Brauer addition simply “things” from the last fermenting procedure that again to fermenting beer spice . In the resident of Munich baker and brew-firstridden it had already concerned to 1481 whether the bakers must buy with the fermentation formed surplus yeast from the Brauern of them after old custom.
German beer expensive law
„the German beer expensive law “(BierStG) of 9. July 1923 in the version of the yearly 1952 regulated 9 exp. with its §. 1 the purity requirement for the Federal Republic of Germany. For bottom-fermented beer were barley malt, hop, yeast and water as if added certified. For obergäriges beer were also different Malzsorten as well as defined kinds of sugar and coloring materials permitted. Former § 10 exp. 1 BierStG forbade the Inverkehrbringen of beers manufactured with additives. From these regulations the Hobbybrauer, the beer was excluded only in completely small quantities manufactures already here. In addition exceptions could be permitted for preparing special beers and for beers, which were intended for the export. Besides the beer expensive law regulated, to which determined step (for example the addition of water) was permitted to times during the brewing process and when not.
This law led to the fact that for example Czech breweries brewed two different beer: for the German market and for the remainder of the world. The Czech beer sold in Germany tasted clearly differently than identical marks in the country of origin.
Due to a complaint of the EEC commission in the year 1984 the European Court of Justice decided 1987 that the prohibition foreign beers with additives in Germany under the designation “beer” offends to sell, against the goods traffic liberty of the EEC contract (EuGH, R-S. 178/84, Slg. 1987, 1227). The restriction of the designation “beer” on products, which corresponded to the traditional German purity requirement, was not justified by compelling requirements of the consumer protection, because for it marking regulations are sufficient. Beyond that the absolute traffic prohibition for beers with additives was unjustified, because it disproportionately and also not according to kind. 36 EWGV (today kind. 30 EGV compelling reasons of the public interest) was justified.
current legal situation
with the revised version of the BierStG in the year 1993 the regulations of the old BierStG were maintained for beer production and to the purity requirement as so-called provisional beer law (VorlBierG) and the fiscal regulations into the new BierStG (1993) were transferred.
of the German consumers is so far predominantly uncritically endorsed the purity requirement. This is not amazing in as much as it concerns with the purity requirement not least a popular advertising instrument of the German Brauerbundes, which besides gladly consumer protection instrument (“oldest consumer protection law of the world”) is called. This view is predominantly uncritically transferred also by the media and placed only rarely to question. A critical view is however quite recommendable and interesting, because the purity requirement is by no means free from contradictions and holds some at least regulations doubtful in their Schutzwert:
- Thus for example Bavarian white beer breweries (in the sense of the law practice legitimately) recruit to manufacture their yeast wheat beer strictly faithfully the Bavarian purity requirement of 1516 after which however neither wheat nor yeast in the beer would be permissible.
- The use of Malz, which was not won from barley, is permitted for obergärige beers, not however for bottom-fermented.
- While for bottom-fermented beers only barley malt may be used, first with obergäriger yeast bottom-fermented yeast can be added to vergorenem beer in a second fermentation, so that the prohibition does not appear consistent to make bottom-fermented beers of the Malzen other grain places than barley (practice mentioned is particularly common with the commercial production in the bottle of after-fermented wheat beers very much for technical reasons).
- The additive of sugar is forbidden in some Lands of the Federal Republic for obergärige beer places, in others permitted, for bottom-fermented beers generally forbidden.
- While the employment is partly permitted by sugar, is not the employment other more naturally added (as for instance unvermälztem grain) permitted, while in other traditional beer countries with such grain specialities with partial long tradition, liked, are manufactured
- for the production for the export intended beer may also in Germany from the regulations of the purity requirement are deviated.
- So-called indulgence and aids, which are used particularly in industrial magnates and automated brewing process, like for example the clarifying means Polyvinylpolypyrrolidon (PVPP), are permitted up to a “technically unavoidable and health harmless” portion without Deklarationspflicht, not defined more near.
The purity requirement is due to such points of criticism again and again subject to discussions, in particular naturally in experts. Generally it appears here that with increasing recess of the knowledge conditions also the critical view of the topic grows.
- Proponents of the present legal situation are afraid the employment of cheap substitutes, preservatives and a general quality loss (“Bierpanscherei”) in case of a liberalisation usually.
- Critics of the present purity requirement do not demand always its general abolishment, but frequently a liberalisation, approximately for at least partial addition of ungemälzten grain or of spices and fruits, which could work against from its view of the strong concentration on the German beer market and from many criticized standardization beer places (“Einheitspils”), an enriching of the beer market to the consequence would have and the possibility of a niche existence with special beers would offer to small enterprises.