The Munich Reinheitsgebot takes effect in all of Bavaria.

23 Apr 2020  Thu

The Reinheitsgebot (purity law or purity decree) is the oldest law in the world that is still in force. It regulates the production of beer in Germany. It is a series of regulations limiting the ingredients in beer in Germany and the states of the former Holy Roman Empire.

The most influential predecessor of the modern Reinheitsgebot was a law first adopted in the duchy of Munich in 1487. After Bavaria was reunited, the Munich law was adopted across the entirety of Bavaria on 23 April 1516. As Germany unified, Bavaria pushed for the adoption of this law on a national basis.

According to the 1516 Bavarian law, the only ingredients that could be used in the production of beer were water, barley, and hops. Also, due to religious conservatism, many plants that were used both for making beer and in pagan rituals were forbidden under the new law. This included plants such as soot, stinging nettles, and henbane.

The 1516 Bavarian law set the price of beer (depending on the time of year and type of beer), limited the profits made by innkeepers, and made confiscation the penalty for making impure beer. The above-shown stamp issued in 1983 celebrating the history of the Reinheitsgebot, and also commemorating its 450th anniversary.

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