Happy 500th Birthday, Reinheitsgebot

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It seem like only yesterday that Duke Wilhelm decreed that only barley, hops, and water could be used to make beer, but it’s been a while. This weekend marks 500 years since the purity law was rolled out by the far-sighted Bavarians. Take it away, BBC:

The decree known as the Reinheitsgebot, issued in Ingolstadt in 1516, had three aims: to protect drinkers from high prices; to ban the use of wheat in beer so more bread could be made; and to stop unscrupulous brewers from adding dubious toxic and even hallucinogenic ingredients as preservatives or flavourings.

Yeast’s magical fermentation properties were not understood at the time, thus just the three ingredients. So load up on gluten and have some fine, pure beer goodness, won’t you?

(What does the St. Pauli Girl have to do with this? Damn little. I just like the label. Deal with it.)