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January 06, 2016

Green Week 2016: German brewers celebrate 500 years of the Beer Purity Law at the International Green Week in Berlin

Berlin, 5 January 2016 – For the German Brewers’ Federation the dominant theme at the International Green Week Berlin 2016 (15 – 24 Jan.) will be the Beer Purity Law. In April of this year 500 years will have passed since the law, which is well-known around the world, first came into force. Inside the ProBier Hall (Hall 12) German brewers will be offering a foretaste of the enjoyment that this anni-versary provides. According to a recent survey by Forsa, Germans still have a high regard for the 500 year-old Beer Purity Law. 85 per cent of the interviewees thought the purity rules should continue to apply, and that no other ingredients except for water, malt, hops and yeast should be used in order to brew beer. Indeed, among beer drinkers as many as 90 per cent were agreed on this matter (1004 interviewees, Forsa, November 2015).

The German Brewers’ Federation is inviting members of the media to attend a press reception where they can find out more about the country’s many beers and the anniversary of the law. The brewers’ reception for the press will take place on

Friday, 15 January 2016, from 12 noon to 2 p.m.
at the German Brewers’ trade fair forum on Stand 114
in the ProBier Hall (Hall 12).

Together with guests, Holger Eichele, chief executive of the Ger-man Brewers’ Federation, and beer sommelier Markus Raupach, head of the German Beer Academy, will introduce Germany’s unique range of beers and provide a foretaste of events in 2016, the year of the anniversary.

On 23 April 1516 in Ingolstadt, a town in Bavaria, the Beer Purity Law was decreed by Dukes Wilhelm IV and Ludwig X as part of a Duchy-wide law. Initially, the Beer Purity Law applied only to the Duchy of Bavaria. Afterwards however, more and more German states incorporated it and in 1906 it became nationwide law. Known the world over, the Beer Purity Law stands for the use of quality ingredients and the preservation of traditional brewing skills. It is recognised as the world’s oldest food law currently still in force, which breweries around the world have established as their quality standard.

Not only does the Beer Purity Law define what a beer must be made of, it also states what brewers may not use. To this day, un-like in other countries, German companies who brew and declare beer in accordance with this law are forbidden to use aromatic sub-stances, colouring, stabilisers, enzymes and preservatives. Now, as in the past, beer brewers may employ only four natural ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast. Consequently, this process is much more complex and sophisticated than beer brewing abroad.

Information about the Beer Purity Law and the wide range of German beers is available on the web at

Press contact:
Marc-Oliver Huhnholz, press spokesman, Die deutschen Brauer
Tel.: 030/209167-16, Email: