December 5, 2013 by gregrabidoux2013
So, Miller may indeed be the “Champagne of Beers,” and Budweiser the “King of Beers,” but German beers are lobbying the United Nations for the type of certification usually reserved for actual wonders of the world. Germans want the United Nations Educational and Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to recognize its brewing tradition and purity rules, also known as Reinheitsgebot, as part of its “intangible cultural heritage list.”
Is this really a big deal (Ein Grose Ehre)? Well, what the Germans want is the type of protection and honor reserved to wonders of the modern world like the Great Wall of China and the great Pyramids of Egypt. On the other hand (the one with which I hold my German Beer Mug) neither of those “wonders” taste very good nor help make the mood festive at a typical Oktoberfest.
And just what the hey is Reinheitsgebot you ask? Well, first developed and laid down by hard-drinking brewmaster-loving Bavarian Dukes over 500 years ago, it basically states that for a beer to be authentically German it must have four and only four ingredients. That would be water, malt, hops and yeast. From these “Pure Four” has come 1,300 breweries, 5,000 brands and 40 types of German Beer. Those figures alone are pretty impressive meine freunde!
And Germans, taking a page from the French who safeguard their beloved “Champagne” like it was a well-seasoned Brie Cheese, want the whole world to know that when it comes to beer there’s pure German beer and then lots of pretenders and posers to the crown.
I mean we may boast about our buds and bud lights but when it comes to really knowing and imbibing beer we in the US are lightweights by global comparison.
We don’t even crack the Top 10 beer guzzling nations and our per capita average of those who drink beer is downright paltry. Clearly, the Germans put their collective mouths where their Reinheitsgebot is and do so frequently. Prost!
1. Germany (130 liters per) 2. Czech Republic (124 liters per) 3. Austria 4. Ireland 5. Canada 6. Australia 7. Estonia 8. Lithuania 9. Poland 10. Venezuela
Now, how Venezuela got on this list I’m not sure but in case you are also wondering, there are 3.5 liters in a gallon. So some simple math while I am still sober indicates that the average German beer drinker knocks back about 37 gallons of the golden hops a year or about 4,750 fluid ounces a year or close to 400 fluid ounces a month/13.5 ounces a day.
And here in the US? Well, we may not be as hard core as our Bavarian-based brethren but we are a nation of beer drinkers and not wine or the hard stuff statistically speaking at least. We consume more beer per capita than anything else (with alcohol) but only about 25 gallons a year of those who drink the brewed nectar.
So, maybe based on sheer volume we don’t deserve a vote on Germany’s request but we are still part of the UN Security Council so here goes. Yes. Why not? Today, the wonders are the Chichen Itza (MEXICO), Christ Redeemer (BRAZIL), Great Wall (CHINA), Machu Pichu (PERU), Petra Jordan, Roman Colosseum (ITALY) and the Taj Mahal (INDIA).
But what list of the 7 wonders of the world would be complete without the wonder and apparently, the purity, of true German Beer? I shudder to even think of a world without such Bavarian purity. I mean are we barbarians? What will future archaeological scientists think if we had this opportunity to protect this German treasure and we let it slip away from our beer-mug holding hands?
United Nations, for once, do the right thing for the rest of the civilized world. History and the rest of us beer drinking global citizens are watching. Our eyes may be getting a bit bleary and red but we are watching.
By the way, back here stateside, our Top 5 beer drinking states are: 1. N. Dakota 2. New Hampshire 3. Montana 4. S. Dakota and 5. Wisconsin (I sense a definite cold weather-cold beer correlation here).
And the least? Well, when in Connecticut maybe it’s best to ask for tea as they imbibe the least beer per capita. Maybe that’s why it’s the Nutmeg state and not the Hops and Barley state.