Happy Reinheitsgebot Day!
Rikki here again! Yay! This blog was also contributed to by Tyson, and Jeff. But they are doing real stuff right now…
Today, while “working”, Jeff, our new and knowledgeable master of kegging (and master of beards) wished me a happy Reinheitsgebot day. What a guy! What is Reinheitsgebot you may ask? Why sit down kids, for a tale of mystery, magic, and a bit of taxation & regulation.
Way back when, in early beer times, folks were putting all sorts of crap into their brews. They would collect various herbs, fungi, and whatever to put into their beers, in hopes of raising the alcohol content, avoiding the taxes on some ingredients, and making a more potent brew to profit from. Avoiding taxation alone is a primary driver for many “innovative ideas,” just ask your local accountant.
While innovation can be wonderful for the sake of progress, it can also provide minor set backs. Like killing innocent beer drinkers for example. Thats right, some of the bounty of the forest placed ever so lovingly into the beer, could kill a dude. Thanks alot, cheapskates.
To save the people, many beer purity laws had been proposed and even passed before the Reinheitsgebot, however, this one stuck. In the year 1516, on the 23rd of April, Duke Wilhelm the IV of Bavaria declared “…the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities’ confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail.” That declaration was on top of pricing regulation for beer and beer ingredients, to avoid price gouging, and to ensure the taxes are going to be paid by the brewers.
Death, Taxes, and Beer, the only three things constant in history.
This law was originally referred to as the Surrogatverbot (surrogate or adjunct prohibition, in rough translation). The name Reinheitsgebot came up in the 1900’s and stuck ever since. And its fun to say. Reinheitsgebot!
Note that the word yeast wasn’t used. That is because until Louis Pasteur discovered the alcoholic fermentation process by yeast in 1857, everyone thought the fermentation itself was based on other factors, like divine intervention, the fermentation vessel itself, or the time of year. Though these all can be key components of a healthy fermentation, yeast is the essential factor in beer fermentation. So the Reinheitsgebot was updated to include that. Since yeast, it has also been updated to include certain sugars to aid in fermentation, and malted rye and malted wheat. Isn’t beer interesting?
Now we have a contest to make your Wednesday more enjoyable or horrible because you have to make it four more hours and all you want is a beer. now. neat. Respond to the appropriate Facebook Post with your answer.
Two winners of and IHB Shirt-Hat-Pint Glass combo will be randomly drawn from the pool of entrants with the correct answer. Winners announced this afternoon at 5pm. ka. effing. pow.
How many of our beers actually follows the Reinheitsgebot today?
If you want a hint you don’t get one. or maybe you do. or maybe this is a trick.
we don’t know anymore.
…The answer shares the same amount of beers, as awards we have so far taken away from the Great American Beer Festival, held in Denver, Co. …