Weihenstephaner 1516 Kellerbier. The limited edition beer was released to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the universally loved Reinheitsgebot or German Beer Purity Law. This limited edition beer has been restricted to a few hundred million bottles and only sold in countries located on Earth so you’d better get in quick. As with all beers brewed under the original Reinheitsgebot of 1516, this beer contains only barley, hops and water. How they’ve managed to brew a beer this good without the use of yeast is a marvel of modern (or ancient) science. While I’m sure it would have been easier to use yeast, this beer celebrates the Reinheitsgebot of 500 years ago, a time when men were Herrs and yeast was heresy. This is not some airy fairy 1857 Kellerbeir.
Anyone who recognises that the modern world has lost its way. Let’s face it, wouldn’t we all like to go back to a time where beer could not contain anything impure and infant mortality was like 30%. These days, beers can contain not only unnatural things like sugar, but such perversions as fruit, fining agents, spices, herbs and even some sort of magical invisible fungus! No thank you Brewdog! You’ll not see me drinking some disgusting fruity mushroom swill.
The Reinheitsgebot is a law deeply steeped in tradition and is one of a handful to remain unchanged for five centuries. Except when it was changed to allow wheat or coriander to be added like 30 years later, or when it was changed so that you could be taxed on extra ingredients instead of having the beer confiscated, or when they added yeast to the list of allowed ingredients, or when it was changed to allow imported beer, or when it was changed to exempt top fermented beer and finings, or when it was changed to encompass the entirety of reunified Germany, or when it was changed to allow pure sugars or salts, or when it was changed to allow gluten-free beer to be labelled as beer despite not actually containing barley. But apart from that, the Reinheitsgebot is an immutable law that cannot be amended at the drop of a hat. So best take advantage of a little known part of the original decree to ensure you stock up at the right time of year to get the best bang for your buck:
From Michaelmas to Georgi, the price for one Mass or one Kopf, is not to exceed one Pfennig Munich value. 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.
You’re in luck then – if you head out to your nearest local multinational liquor wholesaler to pick up akopf of 1516 Kellerbier within the next couple of weeks, you’ll be able to snag it for the low low price of one Pfennig Munich value. You can bet your bottom Pfennig Munich value they’ll pump that price up to three Heller at 12:01am on the 7th of May, mark my words.
Given the expensive and difficult process of making glass in the 16th century you’re probably going to want to fashion yourself some sort of wooden tankard. It also goes best with some quality gút schweinebraten and pomerantzen salat.