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In Germany, they actually have a law that governs what the ingredients of beer can be. This law is The Reinheitsgebot, better known as the German Beer Purity Law that forms the foundation of German brewing. The law states that “beer can only be brewed with barley malt, hops, yeast, and water.” Four ingredients.  That struck me as a straightforward set of restrictions.

When traveling outside our country, I cannot count the number of times I heard people say they really wanted a good American beer, because in the past, no one ever did. It was that extra ingredient. It changed the taste, the “mouth feel”, the experience. It just was not as good.

What is true is that I like beer that tastes good. At one time, good domestically produced beer was hard to find. The only way I could get a good beer was to buy an import. Then, a magic thing happened. The Craft Beer movement was born. Micro-breweries started popping up. Great domestic beer, like great domestic wine, could be had.

Then I went to find out what was in a major beer made here. A well-known company’s website proudly proclaims, “Barley malt, rice, hops, yeast, and water.” Five ingredients.

At the Vine2Wine Classic, we will have not just fine wines, but fine Craft Beer in our Beer Garden of Hope.