Whereas elsewhere beer is seen as a drink of pleasure in Bavaria it is considered more as a basic food (although we do of course still enjoy it!). It’s hardly surprising when you look at the statistics: on average a Bavarian consumes from birth to the grave some 150 litres of beer per year putting Bavarians right at the top of the beer consuming list of states in Germany.
In summer all roads eventually lead to a beer garden. And good job too for it is here that the highly valued and highly refreshing state drink – also known as liquid gold – awaits both tourists and locals alike. It is here that after a hard days work many Bavarians choose to unwind in the company of friends and with a cool glass of shandy, wheat beer, wheat beer shandy and co.
In addition to the fact that our beer is the ultimate sensation of taste it has also been attributed with health giving properties and an increasing number of scientists have confirmed that moderate consumption of beer has a positive affect on the whole body and most particularly on the heart and circulatory system. Moderate consumption i.e. half a litre for women and a whole litre for men per day promotes wellbeing and also provides numerous valuable vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and phosphor. It is also low in sodium.
The state’s purity law
Thanks to the state’s purity law that was introduced in 1516 Bavarian beer is brewed without the addition of preserving agents, froth stabilisers, flavour enhancers, colourings or any other additives. Bavarian beer is guaranteed to contain only the four classic ingredients – water, malt, hops and yeast. These select ingredients usually are sourced locally as Bavaria is one of the leading producers of brewer’s barley. In addition to this the state and the region around the Hallertau is the largest contiguous hop growing area in the world.
Bavaria’s reputation as the home of beer goes back centuries when brewing first began in the state’s monasteries and developed into something of a science. Today there are some 650 breweries representing more than 50% of the whole of Germany’s brewery population. Together they produce some 20 million hectolitres of beer each year.