German Beer Purity Law, 1516
hereby proclaim and decree, by Authority of our Province, that
henceforth in the Duchy of Bavaria, in the country as well as in the
cities and marketplaces, the following rules apply to the sale of beer:
From Michaelmas to Georgi, the
price for one Mass [Bavarian Liter 1,069] or one Kopf [bowl-shaped
container for fluids, not quite one Mass], is not to exceed one Pfennig
Munich value, and From Georgi to Michaelmas, the Mass shall not be sold
for more than two Pfennig of the same value, the Kopf not more than
three Heller [Heller usually one-half Pfennig].
If this not be adhered to, the
punishment stated below shall be administered. Should any person brew,
or otherwise have, other beer than March beer, it is not to be sold any
higher than one Pfennig per Mass. Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that
in future in all cities, markets and in the country, the only
ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water.
Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance,
shall be punished by the Court authorities' confiscating such barrels of
beer, without fail. Should, however, an innkeeper in the country, city
or markets buy two or three pails of beer (containing 60 Mass) and sell
it again to the common peasantry, he alone shall be permitted to charge
one Heller more for the Mass of the Kopf, than mentioned above.
Furthermore, should there arise a scarcity and subsequent price increase
of the barley (also considering that the times of harvest differ, due to
location), WE, the Bavarian Duchy, shall have the right to order
curtailments for the good of all concerned."
Wilhelm IV of Bavaria on April 23, 1516 in Ingolstadt.
Translation of Reinheitsgebot
from "History of German Brewing" by Karl J. Eden
Zymurgy magazine, Vol. 16, No. 4 Special 1993.