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Germany raises glass to 500th anniversary of beer purity law

[INGOLSTADT, Germany] Chancellor Angela Merkel raised a beer glass on Friday to help celebrate 500 years since the birth of Germany's oldest and most revered brewing tradition.

German beer fans are marking the anniversary of a decree of April 23, 1516 by the southern state of Bavaria imposing the "Reinheitsgebot" purity law, stating "no ingredients other than barley, hops and water are to be used" in making beer.

Amid guards in traditional costume and the sound of clinking glasses, Ms Merkel joined a celebratory event in Ingolstadt, where on Thursday a special beer fountain was unveiled.

While no longer actual law, the Reinheitsgebot is still regarded as an important tradition and for many brewers a guideline on how German beer ought to be made.

REUTERS