Ein Prosit Der Gemütlichkeit

The Reinheitsgebot is 493 years old today.  Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!

From Wikipedia:

“The Reinheitsgebot was introduced in part to prevent price competition with bakers for wheat and rye. The restriction of grains to barley was meant to ensure the availability of sufficient amounts of affordable bread, as the more valuable wheat and rye were reserved for use by bakers. Today many Bavarian beers are again brewed using wheat and are thus no longer compliant with the Reinheitsgebot.

The Reinheitsgebot formed the basis of legislation that spread slowly throughout Bavaria and Germany. Bavaria insisted on its application throughout Germany as a precondition of German unification in 1871, to prevent competition from beers brewed elsewhere with a wider range of ingredients. The move encountered strong resistance from brewers outside Bavaria. By restricting the allowable ingredients, it led to the extinction of many brewing traditions and local beer specialties, such as North German spiced beer and cherry beer, and led to the domination of the German beer market by pilsener style beers. Only a few regional beer varieties, such as Düsseldorfer Altbier, survived its implementation.”

Government action restructured an industry, favored some players and drove others out of business.  It’s a great example of regulatory risk, pure and simple.

Published in: on April 23, 2009 at 21:18  Comments Off on Ein Prosit Der Gemütlichkeit  
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