It is a well known fact that Germans go crazy about beer. Furthermore Germany has a loyal and proud nation and a lot of citizens are reluctant to drinking imported beer. German beer has a long standing tradition which was supported by the Purity Law otherwise known as the Reinheitsgebot which is the oldest food regulation law in the world. Tradition is an important aspect that defines a country’s culture but can it also impede innovation? Due to the strict regulations, Pilseners have taken over the market leaving little room for choices.
Reinheitsgebot was first inforced in 1516 in Bavaria. This regulation implied that beer was only produced with water, barley and hops( after its discovery, yeast was also allowed in the mix). The law also contained price regulations as well as sanctions for brewers who didn’t abide by it. Although it spread across several areas of Germany, the law did not affect all the brewers. However in 1871 Bavarians insisted in applying it law as a precondition for a unification. This was a measure that eliminated a lot of the competition in the brewing industry. However it also eliminated over 90% of the various German beer types that were being produced across the country. Furthermore it also didn’t allow imported beer that didn’t abide by the law. Although the regulations regarding imported beer have changed, german breweries still follow the classic brewing recipes.
Since it was imposed, the Reinheitsgebot has suppressed innovation in the beer industry in Germany. While other countries such as Belgium allowed their breweries to experiment with different flavors, the German tradition is detaining local breweries from expanding their horizon. However don’t make the mistake of thinking that the beer produced in Germany is plain and tasteless. The Purity Law protects the tradition of producing natural, strong and tasteful beer. There is no harm in maintaining beloved traditions. However laws should not impede the development of a certain industry. The open minded Belgians have seen the potential that beer has and they created a diversified range of products that can satisfy even the most pretentious tastes.
The fact is that although Germans are promoting their beer as the best one in the world they have very little knowledge about other types of beer. Without having experienced other styles and flavours one can’t make the assumption that German beer is the best in the world. In order to find the best beer in the world we recommend trying out as many types as possible. The search for the best beer in the world can take a while but the journey is worth the trouble.