German brewers seek UN world heritage status for their 5-century-old beer purity law
BERLIN – German beer brewers are seeking a 500th birthday present for their famed purity law: an official seal of approval as world heritage.
The German Brewers' Federation said Monday it has applied to German officials and UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency, to have the purity law — the "Reinheitsgebot" — recognized by the U.N. as a piece of the world's "intangible heritage."
The purity law dates back to 1516 and allows nothing but water, barley malt, hops and yeast for brewing. Germany boasts some 1,300 breweries and 5,000 brands of beer.
If it wins a place on the UNESCO list, the purity law will find itself in diverse company that includes the Argentine tango, the Spanish flamenco, the French gastronomic meal and Turkey's Kirkpinar oil-wrestling festival.