Brewers: Don't Frack Up German Beer

Industry group worries fracking will harm the groundwater

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 24, 2013 8:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – Germany prides itself on the (legally mandated) purity of its beers, and brewers refuse to mess that up for a little thing like cheap energy. The Association of German Breweries is coming out in force against fracking, arguing that it should be banned until the government can be completely sure that it won't contaminate Germany's vital groundwater, Bloomberg reports. "Fracking endangers the brewing water that more than half of Germany's breweries take from private wells," a group spokesman said.

Water is one of only four ingredients Germans are allowed to brew beer with, thanks to its famous (or infamous, depending on the beer snob you consult) 497-year-old Reinheitsgebot, or purity law, making good sources especially important. Angela Merkel has already promised legislation banning fracking in some places, but in letters sent to six government ministers, the brewers say the legislation isn't enough to guarantee clean water, and doesn't "take into account the requirements of the Reinheitsgebot," der Spiegel reports. (Those other three OKed ingredients? Malt, hops, and yeast.)

Waitresses dance on tables in a beer tent on the final evening of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012.   (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
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