April 23 is German Beer Day, and you don’t want to miss this 500-year tradition. Arguably the finest beer on the planet, German beer is without a doubt of the highest quality. Especially when enjoyed from an oversized mug with friends and family. Learn more here!
Beer is a big deal in Germany, it’s the country’s signature drink, and it’s been this way for centuries. The country is home to over 1,300 breweries — that’s more than 5,000 brands covering thousands of different beer styles, all special in their own way.
Actually, beer as we know it wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the German beer-specialist region of Bavaria. In 1516, the region’s rulers established the ultimate beer recipe in what we now know as the ‘beer purity law.’ This is precisely what we celebrate every April 23. The birth of the standardized and trustworthy recipe for beer: barley, water and hops.
Yeast is the fourth ingredient critical for beer-making, but the microscopic fungus wasn’t known in the early 16th-century. Back then, beer just began fermenting spontaneously thanks to ambient yeast that is always floating around us.
German Beer Day is a national holiday in Germany, but with thriving German colonies worldwide, and with a huge beer-loving fanbase in every country of the earth, German Beer Day is a celebration everyone can enjoy.
You don’t have to drink German beer to experience it. Most beers made elsewhere are inspired by German beer styles, including lagers, wheat beers, pilsners and malty brown lagers.
This is a day to celebrate a really fun agricultural product. That’s what beer is — it’s more than a boozy drink; it is food, culture and history. There are few other drinks with such significance.
History of German Beer Day
German Beer Day has a special historical significance. It was on April 23, 1516, when beer’s purity law or reinheitsgebot was established by Bavarian rule. The law specifies that producers could use only four ingredients for making beer: malted grains, hops, water, and yeast.
Before the purity law, brewers used a wide variety of grains. They also added to the brewing kettle various herbs, roots and flowers, including myrtle, wormwood and yarrow, to aromatize and preserve the beer.
The reinheitsgebot is one of the earliest recorded efforts to protect a product’s quality and consistency. It also protected the Bavarian kingdom from people using wheat for beer instead of bread — the law called instead for barley, which is still the primary grain used to make beer.
This is one of the most long-lasting official celebrations globally, and the German beer industry and beer lovers worldwide celebrate German Beer Day with a cold one in hand. That’s how it has always been.
How to Celebrate German Beer Day
The best way of celebrating such a memorable day is by visiting your local beer garden to enjoy a glass of Helles, Pilsener or Bock. Don’t forget to order a plate of sausages and sauerkraut, too!
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