The German people are renowned for a lot of things; one of them is brewing. German Beer is a crucial piece of their legacy and civilization, with more than 1300 various breweries spread across the land. As far as per capita beer consumption, the German people are only behind the Czechs and the Irish.
The history of Germanic beer spans back to the origin of the country when monks began to experiment with brewing around 1000 A.D. The country’s leaders eventually began to regulate the production of beer as brewing started to be more and more profitable.
The Bavarian Reinheitsgebot, or purity standard, came about in fifteen-sixteen and remains the most famous and influential aspect to effect German brewing.
The Bavarian Reinheitsgebot was ordered by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria to ensure that Bavarian beers were only of high quality. Hops, barley, and water are the only ingredients that should go in in beer according to the regulation.
The Reinheitsgebot is the oldest legislation placed on beverages in the world and has not been changed in nearly five-hundred years. The only addition to the act is the addition of yeast to the cache of essential ingredients.
Manufacturers in the past before that had simply used the yeast found naturally in the air. Because of the stringent standard of quality followed by the purity requirement, Bavarian manufacturers were soon considered the best manufacturers of beer.
Other breweries started to adhere to the proclamation as the prominence of the Bavarian breweries continued to rise.
German beers have a long-standing notoriety of producing quality brews made only from the purest ingredients as a result of the Reinheitsgebot. As time passed and Germany started to export beer, many cities became famous brewing spots.
By fifteen-hundred, Scandinavia, Holland, England, and as far as India mainly got their beer from one of the 600 breweries in the city of Bremen. Two more famed brewing towns were Einbeck and Braunschweig. Because of it’s full-bodied flavor and right amount of head foam most modern Germans still prefer fabbier, or draft beer, over bottled beer.
Used still today, German beer steins became popular around the time the purity standard came about in an effort to prevent more breakouts of the black plague.
Germany made a lot of regulations to stop its citizens from getting ill during the time of the black plague. Large amounts of infected flies would fly in people’s food and spread the disease. This led to the stein, a beverage container with a closed lid that could be used with the thumb so somebody could stop disease and still be able to drink with one hand.
Beer drinking went up exponentially as people started to realize the plague spread in dirty conditions with brackish pools of water. Originally made of stoneware with pewter tops, steins grew in popularity. German beer steins started to be made entirely of pewter for nearly three-hundred years as the pewter guild grew. Still manufactured today, silver and porcelain German beer steins were eventually introduced.
More than five-thousand types of beer are made today from over thirteen-hundred and fifty breweries within Germany’s borders. The oldest brewery in the world that continues operation today is the Benedictine abbey Weihenstephan, that has been producing beer since one-thousand and forty.
The most concentrated area in Germany for breweries is the Franconia region of Bavaria near the city Bamberg. German breweries manufacture a wide variety of tastes and kinds of beer with the majority of them able to be placed under ales or lagers. Most beers have an alcoholic content ranging from 4.7% to 5.4% but some kinds can be as high as 12%, making them more potent than a lot of wines.