Prost! Is German Beer the 8th Wonder of the World?


December 5, 2013 by gregrabidoux2013

German beers

We are pure as the driven Bavarian Snow!

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.

Beer Mug

Now that’s using your head (of foam).

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.

German beer mugs

Reinheitsgebot to one and to all!

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.

german beer girl

See she’s not a myth!

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.

guys drinking beer

Sorry, guys, you’re no German beer drinkers.

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?

taj mahal

Beautiful but doesn’t go well with a Brat and a pretzel.

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.

Cheers, Mate!



16 thoughts on “Prost! Is German Beer the 8th Wonder of the World?

  1. Bethany Sims says:

    Gah, this post makes me thirsty! Ya, German beer is liquid gold, girls like it too!

  2. Blaine Lin says:

    Venezuela is beating us, how us that even possible?!

  3. Cameron D'Aquila says:

    If I recall correctly, the purity law of 1516 states that there are to be no additives in German beer. As far as I am concerned, US beer is disgusting . . . reminiscent of drinking water. Plus, never have I once drank German beer and woke up with a headache. Makes me wonder, what in the sam hell is in US beer? Bit e Eim Bit e

  4. Daniel C says:

    German and Czech Beer was tremendous however I favor an Irish Stout even in August. However most Irish ladies do not look like the frauleien above!

  5. Cara C says:

    I just recently returned from Germany after spending the month of December in Kaiserslaurtern, Wiesbaden, Frankfurt and Munich. I can vouch for their ability to drink. In addition to the beers listed above, I would like to add that during Christmas Market months, the gluvine wine is overwhelmingly popular. Nationals gather around fire, bands, heaters, tables, etc. with loved ones, whether family or friends, and socialize while drinking the gluvine. This wine is a mixture of different fruits, honey, and regular wine that is heated up and served. Some may even put almaretto in it for sweetening. ITS DELICIOUS.

    Also, you were accurate in your statement about the Irish. I spent a month in Shannon, Ennis, Cashel, Waterford, and Dublin in May 2012 and witnessed/participated first hand in the drinking festivities in Ireland. There the Guiness was obviously the most popular along with Bailey’s pour into their coffee.

    Great article!!! Loved the alcohol AND food in both Germany as well as Ireland!

    • Cara, I’m jealous! Spent a Christmas a few years back in Austria and you made me remember the Gluvine, yes, it was exactly as you described in Vienna as in Munich and Frankfurt. And as for Ireland, well, I’m part Irish, ’nuff said there…

  6. sherrea w says:

    well after reading this article I really can’t relate to beer , So i decided to call up my grandfather and ask for his input on my post because he is a true french man that loves to indulge in beer. But the funny thing is all he could tell me was one qoute. “”No soldier can fight unless he is properly fed on beef and beer.” This qoute was stated by -John Churchill . I guess my grandad was trying to say beer brings out the inner man in you lol. Geeeshh

    • Sherrea, there’s also another true saying, “Granddad knows best!” And well, if you have to do without one or the other, then let it be the beef. red meat isn’t good for you anyways..

  7. Casey Holcom says:

    German beer is definitely better than what we have in the states. It’s difficult me to drink the more common beers here after having beer from other countries.

  8. Hayley B says:

    This reminds me of a situation in Valdosta about 5 years ago. (I’m not sure if you were in town then, but maybe you can remember the location if you were.) There was no Zaxbys on Norman, but there was this Very old house on Baytree that was the home of a very college pub feel form of Zaxbys. My mom used to tell me about her years working there in college, only about 15 years earlier. She talked about how there was a step down to an old bathroom that was now the take out window and cash register that was so thick with grease that people daily hit the floor walking down and about the bad plumbing and electrical that was pretty old and couldn’t sufficiently handle the heavy responsibilities of the very busy restaurant. She said that even the owners were trying to tear the place down and get a more sustainable and up-to-date building, but the house had historical significance that kept the owners from altering it even to the extent of a remodel. Well then in 2009 Zaxby’s went up in flames! My mom always swore that it was a purposeful accident- “leaving an oven on” that resulted in a gas fire was the culprit.
    Back to how it relates- Sometimes I think organizations, much like the German beer company, try to place some sort of significance on their “thing” in order to preserve or highlight it. I’m sure the company wanted nothing more than to have bragging rights for a marketing purpose. Valdosta has a variety of places that they try to stamp as historically sacred, even run down house restaurants! Who knows why they’d want to preserve a place like that- but I’m sure somewhere they had a reason!

  9. Gilbert W says:

    While I’d prefer to sneak over the border and imbibe the eclectic variety of wild yeast spawned brews in Belgium, the Germans were truly on to something with their purity laws. If we’d kept to them over here, we (as a nation) might have a better appreciation for what real beer is (and it isn’t Bud Light!). The limitation of beer components to the four ingredients (barley, hops, water, and yeast) resulted in few beers that be sufficiently like water to qualify as “American.” We add rice, corn, and who knows what else to our beer, and we’re none the better for it.

    So is it worth a “World Wonder’ designation? The beer drinker in me thinks so, but realistically, I’d be happy with an international recognition of the purity law as an example that more nations should emulate or whole-heartedly embrace! Prost!

  10. Katherine R says:

    I have always wanted to travel to Germany or Ireland to have the authentic beer experience. It is crazy to see how much beer they drink. I have friends that brew their own beer or only drink craft beer and they turn their nose up at the Bud/Miller/etc type beers. It would be interesting to see what other countries would feel about my friends and their home brews or craft beers. Nevertheless, I do enjoy going to the craft beer breweries. Let’s have some German ones!

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