Which breeds of chicken are not kosher?

Purity Law: Beer from Rio to Ramallah

Cool light, full-bodied dark or would you prefer a quick Kölsch? If beer is brewed in this country, then exclusively according to the purity law of 1516, the oldest, still valid consumer protection law in the world. In contrast to other countries, only water, hops, malt and yeast are allowed in German beer. Additives such as artificial flavors, enzymes or preservatives have to stay outside. We have found international breweries that follow the German example.

Purity Law: Search for a needle in a haystack

First of all: the research was not an easy one, it was rather similar to the famous search for a needle in a haystack. Because most of the beer according to the Purity Law is simply imported from Germany. This in turn benefits the brewers in this country: With 16 million hectoliters in 2015, Germany is the largest beer exporter in Europe and the fourth largest in the world.

International beer: history on the Sugar Loaf

We were surprised in Brazil. Two brands of beer are brewed here in accordance with the German purity law: Brahma and Antarctica. However, there is a small downer: it is not Brazilians but European immigrants who are behind it. Brahma was first brewed in 1888 by Joseph Villiger from Switzerland. Incidentally, the beer name has nothing to do with the chicken breed of the same name or the Hindu god Brahma, but rather goes back to the abbreviation for “Brauhaus Maschke”. Behind Antarctica is the Wiesbaden master brewer Louis Bücher, who developed the light Pilsener in 1885. Both Brahma and Antarctica now belong to the South American brewery AmBev.

International beer: Spain, Canada and sham packaging in China

The Spanish beer brand San Miguel has been celebrating the “Ley de la Pureza” since 1993 with a beer named “1516”. The Canadian Okanagan Spring Brewery also offers a barley juice of the same name. The Chinese beer Tsingtao enjoys its reputation for being brewed according to the Purity Law. That may have been correct at the beginning of the 20th century, but rice is now being added to Tsingtao. That’s it with the purity law.

International beer: Hallertau hops in the West Bank

We made an almost unbelievable discovery near Ramallah in the West Bank: A Middle East variant of the Munich Oktoberfest with beer, brewed in accordance with the German Purity Law, has been going on here for ten years.

The initiator of the Oktoberfest is the Taybeh brewery, which was founded in 1995 by Nadim Khoury as the first Palestinian brewery in the West Bank. Khoury started brewing beer while studying in the United States. After returning to his home village of Taybeh with his family in the early 1990s, he founded the brewery of the same name. There are now five types of beer: light, a kind of Altbier (Amber), dark monastery beer (Dark), light and non-alcoholic, especially for Muslims. The production volume is 500 to 600 thousand liters per year, customers are Israel, Europe and the USA. Incidentally, not only the purity law of Taybeh beer is German, but also the hops. Khoury imports it from the Hallertau hop-growing region in Bavaria.

The best water for the best beer

Eric Berzins, head of Fort Hill Brewery, also guarantees compliance with the Purity Law. Berzins is also admirably consistent in the choice of ingredients. In order to get the best possible ingredients for his beer, Berzins let the water quality decide on the location of his brewery. He looked at more than 60 options across the United States. He found the best water in 2010 in Easthampton, a city west of Boston in the state of Massachusetts. Berzins grows the hops himself on the company premises.

Fort Hill Brewery has eleven exquisite beers on offer, all of which are unfiltered and naturally carbonated. Berzins even brews the famous Bamberg smoked beer, along with Märzen beer, pale ale, wheat beer and lager.

When the dropout returns as a brewer

1000 kilometers further south, John Marrino founded his brewery The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. His story reads like the much-touted American Dream: Marrino worked for a German company in Charlotte, North Carolina for 16 years. During this time he also spent four years in Germany and enjoyed a wide variety of beer specialties.

After returning from Germany, Marrino no longer felt like working for a large corporation and went on a month-long motorhome tour through the USA with his family. One evening he read about a man who had rebuilt a nearly destroyed brewery in New England. Marrino missed German beer and regretted that there was no brewery in his hometown of Charlotte, in Mecklenburg County. So one thing led to another and in 2009 Marrino opened the gates of his own brewery.

Bock beer at the Mecktoberfest

His positive experience with German barley juice prompted Marrino to brew exclusively according to the purity law. He has also remained loyal to German beers: The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery brews Altbier, Weißbier, Dunkles and Bockbier. And festival beer is served for the in-house Oktoberfest.

His success proves him right: Today, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is the largest local brewery in the state of North Carolina and produces around 2.2 million liters of beer annually. The brewery has a restaurant and a beer garden, which extends over an area the size of four football fields. The brewery is open daily from 11 a.m. and numerous seasonal events, from the “Mecktoberfest” to the Christmas market, round off the program. Cheers and cheers - according to the purity law!

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