German brewers want the United Nations to recognise their beer as a piece of “intangible cultural heritage,” NBC News reports. If the UN approves the request, Germany’s beer will be protected by UNESCO, the same agency that looks after The Great Wall of China, the Grand Canyon and Egypt’s pyramids.
“Germany has an unchallenged reputation as a beer nation,” Hans-Georg Eils, the president of the German Brewers Association, told NBC News.
The country has a strict beer purity law, called Reinheitsgebot, set down by Bavarian Dukes about 500 years ago. They allow only four ingredients in the brewing process: water, malt, hops, and yeast.
In UNESCO’s definition of intangible cultural heritage, the agency includes “the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.”
Marc-Oliver Huhnholz, a spokesman for the German Brewers Association, said to NBC News that German beer “is really a special craftsmanship.”
“From just four ingredients, we can make so many different tasting brews,” Huhnholz said.
The German brewing tradition is known the world over. In Namibia, a former German colony, Namibia’s Windhoek Lager stamps every bottle with the word “Reinheitsgebot” to signify the purity of the beer that comes from the German method.
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