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Beer purity law proposed as UN world cultural heritage
Photo: DPA

Beer purity law proposed as UN world cultural heritage

Published: 27 May 2011 07:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 May 2011 07:37 GMT+02:00

A group of German brewers, politicians and public figures have called for the country's 16th-century beer purity law to be included on the UN's list of "intangible" world cultural treasures.

"This almost 500-year-old law is one of the oldest food and drink regulations in the world," the German institute for pure beer (DIRB) said after its annual meeting this week.

"It has been the best guarantee for consumers for a very long time of an

absolutely pure, tasty and high quality product. Beer is and remains Germany's

national drink."

Germany's cherished beer purity law dates back to 1516 and ensures that the country's brewers can only use malt, hops, yeast and water and no artificial

additives such as flavourings or preservatives.

Germany however is not one of the 135 nations to have ratified the

convention for UNESCO's Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,

something which the DIRB said should change.

Items already listed by UNESCO include flamenco dancing in Spain,

traditional carpet-weaving in Iran, the chant of the Sybil in Majorca,

wrestling in oil in Turkey and French food.

AFP/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:35 May 27, 2011 by Blyzz
According to the Wikipedia article on Reinheitsgebot (Purity Law), the law was passed on April 23rd 1516.

All the beers produced at the Namibia Breweries (in Namibia) follow the Purity law by choice.

I've also started a beer "club" in Cape Town that will celebrate April 23rd each year as one of the best reasons to spend time with friends.

I'm hoping to grow our numbers to a few hundred for the 500th anniversary in 2016. Wish me luck :-)
11:38 May 27, 2011 by The-ex-pat
This almost 500-year-old law" WAS" one of the oldest food and drink regulations in the world," the German institute for pure beer (DIRB) said after its annual meeting this week......A little known fact, that the beer producers like to keep quiet is, the Reinheitsgebot was repealed in 1987. Germany, as a member of the European Union, was forced by a court decision to change the law in order to allow free trade of goods within the EU. Since 1993, a new, more global market place beer law has been in effect.
14:34 May 27, 2011 by Reinheitsgebot-2
Right, they HAD to change the law.

But nobody can't stop German breweries still to adhere to this rule. And so they do. That is, most of them do.

Of course, some are not shy to mix abominations like "refreshing" ginger-banana-beer, but most beer sold is now labelled "In accordance with German Reinheitsgebot 1516".

It is still regarded a heritage.
14:50 May 27, 2011 by derExDeutsche
all you need to do is taste a 'Craft Beer' here in Brooklyn, and you'll know, that the Germans have a good thing going.
15:11 May 27, 2011 by BlueWolf
As much as I enjoy Mönschoff Kellerbier, there is always room for some good ol' English ales and beers (Wychwood Honey Beer, especially).
15:37 May 27, 2011 by sebastian2010
Why would anybody want to change that old law. I do not want cancer. I want healthy beer.
16:17 May 27, 2011 by Boban
In Canada, a few years ago, we had up to 55 different 'ingredients' in some of our beers. I'll take the Rheinheitsgebote of 1516 over our 'concoctions' or that American 'pee' anytime. Don't change a good thing, that's why my wife is still with me!!
19:58 May 27, 2011 by Englishted
I'm here and I love the beer, Weizenbier ,pils any and all .

They should do it to sausages as well.

I'm trying to eat and drink it all just in case they change the law (or thats what I tell the wife).

Good old U.N. you don't see that often anymore.
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