Also known as Reinheitsgebot, the German Purity Law had three goals, to protect beer drinkers from rising prices, to ban the use of wheat, so that more bread could be made, and to prevent unscrupulous brewers from using toxic ingredients as preservatives or flavourings.
Under the law, beer makers could only use three ingredients; barley, hops and water. Since then, the law has been updated and now malted grains, hops, water and yeast may be used in German beer - but nothing else.
What are the best non-alc German beers?
The blurb: From the world famous Bitburger brewery.
The taste: Bright golden yellow in colour, with a white foam head, this beer has sweet honey and gingerbread aromas. With notes of ripe cereal grains and bittersweet herbs, the finish is bittersweet and malty.
The blurb: This take on a dry-hopped lager was one of the first non-alc beers ever produced.
The taste: It is rich and crisp, with bitter notes and a tad of sweet malt. Its golden colour is almost indistinguishable from its alcoholic counterpart.
What customers are saying: "A great taste i can drink at anytime and not have to worry about driving the car."
The blurb: Founded in 2014, on the German island of Rügen, Insel-Brauerei create beers that are based on rare or forgotten styles. Beautifully packaged for an elevated drinking experience.
The taste: The addition of Baltic Sea Salt gives this a unique salty tang that is complemented by the soft, fruity aftertaste and a slight bitterness.
The blurb: Brewed in the iconic Cologne brewery, Cölner Hofbräu Früh.
The taste: This non-alcoholic ale features malty aromas and floral, hoppy notes. It also has a thick white head and refreshing finish.
The blurb: With a brewing history dating back to the 11th century, the experts at Weihenstephan know how to create a first class beer.
The taste: This beer is refreshing and flavoursome with a sunny yellow colour. With pleasant notes of spicy hops and full, the flavours are sweet and bitter.