Thursday, 3 March 2011


There's a fantastic article in Slate about declining beer sales in Germany and the self-imposed straitjacket that may have something to do with it.

Link here.


jonathan hemingway said...

The Reinheitsgebot is not a straitjacket. The high quality that the brewers produce is something special and a massive USP for the country and any exports that it may send out. The drinks that are mixed or find themselves falling short of the Reinheitsgebot are called something completely different than Beer, such as a Beer style drink, and there is a large distinction between those and "genuine" beers.

The Reinheitsgebot bestows upon the German beers a sign of quality, rather than limiting them down to specific methods of brewing. An example would be the difference between a fine bavarian helles beer (almost always left out when anyone writes about German beer) or a berliner pilsner in comparison to Holsten. Although Holsten Pilsner is technically brewed to the Reinheitsgebot, it tastes foul. These types of mergers have been happening more often in Germany for the past few decades, and it is these larger breweries, often taken over by foreign multi-national companies that brew lower quality brews, but due to marketing/economies of scale and other factors that skew the impression of german beer.

There is also a massive difference between the north and south in Germany. In one town in the south (in bavaria) with only roughly 110,000 people, there are 4 breweries, and the beer industry was healthy without any of these Mischgetränke posing much of a threat as a substitute product).

Cooking Lager said...

cracking article, interesting stuff.

Rob Sterowski said...

It's a shit article. It's the same one that appears in the American press every couple of months, the sub-text is that sleepy Europeans need Americans to save them. The Reinheitsgebot is a complete red herring.