Berlin: A glass of beer stands in the counter area of a pub in the Berlin district of Wilmersdorf. The 6. August is International Beer Day.
© Source: Christoph Soeder/dpa
"Hops and malt, God be praised!" is one of numerous sayings that followers of the "cool blonde" have established over the years. Fans have been arguing for years about whether the best beer comes from Germany, the Czech Republic or somewhere else. A fact check on the International Day of Beer.
Berlin. More than 1500 breweries, up to 6000 different brands, countless museums on cultural history. Beer is still Germany's favorite beverage – even though the Corona pandemic has left its mark on sales here as well. Time for a fact check:
Claim: Beer brewing was invented in Europe
Facts: Beer has been around since man started growing grain. Thousands of years ago, the brew was already popular in Mesopotamia, the land between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. According to historians, the Sumerians who lived there knew at least nine types of beer, which they produced mainly from barley and emmer, a type of wheat. The art of brewing reached Egypt via Babylonia, where the first pubs are said to have existed as early as 3000 B.C. The oldest archaeological reference to the brewing art of the Germanic women. Teutons originate from Kulmbach (Bavaria): Beer mugs from the time around 800 B.C.
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Claim: Beer is beneficial to health
Rating: Only partially correct.
Biochemists at the University of Nuremberg-Erlangen have indeed discovered that substances contained in beer can slow down fatty degeneration of the liver caused by obesity and poor nutrition, and can have a favorable effect on fat and sugar metabolism. Xanthohumol, for example, is found exclusively in hops. Provides the yellow color of its flowers. Nevertheless, because of its alcohol content, conventional beer is of course no medicine. Recommendation of the researchers therefore: enjoy alcohol-free!
Claim: Non-alcoholic beer contains no alcohol
Rating: True not necessarily.
Like other beers, non-alcoholic beer in this country is brewed strictly according to the Purity Law: from water, barley, yeast and hops. However, a small amount of alcohol can still be present in "alcohol-free" beer, according to the German Brewers Association: "Either fermentation is stopped when the residual alcohol limit of 0.5 percent is reached, or the alcohol is removed from the finished beer after the conventional brewing process."The good news for drivers: Even after a few glasses, there is no danger of a significant increase in blood alcohol concentration, according to a study by the University of Freiburg. But some breweries also offer varieties with 0.0 percent.
Claim: Germans lead Europe in beer consumption
The European country with the highest beer consumption per capita is the Czech Republic. In 2020, Czechs drank an average of 135 liters of beer, according to the European brewers association Brewers of Europe. While beer consumption in Germany was still 146 liters per capita per year in 1980, it fell to around 87 liters per year in 2020, according to the German Brewers Association.