Travel industry beer lovers met in Sydney yesterday under the auspices of the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the renowned German beer purity laws enacted by Herzog Willem in 1516.
The laws, known as the reinheitsgebot in German, restrict brewers to using hops, malted barley, yeast and water – and nothing else. For five centuries, the German Beer Purity Law has determined what can and can’t go into German beer. It’s the oldest food regulation in the world still in force today.
At the celebration at the O Bar at Sydney’s Australia Square were Stefanie Eberhard, Director of the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) in Sydney, with Sophie Taylor and Tim Charody.
Charody, known as The Beer Pilgrim, is a film maker, blogger and beer expert whose passion and skill lead him around the world, staying at fabulous places and drinking the world’s best beer. There are worse ways to make a living.
The commemoration coincided with GNTO’s annual roadshow, which visited Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney for a series of exciting events to promote destination Germany to the Australian travel trade and media.
Twelve partners were involved in the roadshow and the delegation welcomed 85 to 100 travel agents to “Ancient to Modern” themed events in each city. Guests dressed in medieval costumes and enjoyed nibbles, drinks and theatre style presentations to showcase a taste of ancient and modern German culture.
The major prize on offer at each event was an exciting trip to Germany sponsored by Lufthansa German Airlines. The lucky winner in each state were:
- Melbourne – Bernadette Jones, STA Travel South Bank
- Brisbane – Sarah Neverman, helloworld Kenmore
- Sydney – Richard Irvine, Trans Am Travel Pty. Ltd., Sydney
Australia is an important market for Germany with 757,897 overnight stays in 2015.
Eberhard said GNTO was thrilled with the positive response to this year’s roadshow from travel agents and media alike.
“It’s been a great opportunity to educate the travel trade about Germany’s unique offerings and share what’s new for 2017 including the upcoming anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation – making it a great year for history and culture buffs to visit.”
Dressed in medieval attire, Eberhard reminded her audience that the Middle Ages in Germany had produced castles, as well as beer. Visitors can combine them both. A well-signposted Beer and Castle Route runs 500 kilometres along the B85 road from the East Bavarian “City of the Three Rivers” Passau to Bad Frankenhausen in Thuringia on the southern slope of the Kyffhäuser Mountains.
The route combines cosy, sociable drinking spots, art, culture, nature and good food, history and of course, many varieties of beer.
As well as beer, Germany is marking 500 years since the Protestant Reformation.
A year long celebration has begun – making 2017 an ideal time for Australian history and culture buffs to visit Germany. As the home of the iconic figure Martin Luther (not to be confused with Martin Luther King), Germany is also the birthplace of Protestantism. It has been 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.
Although there is no historical proof of this happening, it was an event that changed the world – and this great anniversary in 2017 will be marked in fitting style, not just in Wittenberg and Eisleben but across the whole of Germany. Germany is paying tribute to one of its greatest sons with an entire decade devoted to Martin Luther: monk, professor and church reformer. In Australia and New Zealand, 70,000 people are part of the Lutheran Church.
To celebrate, the GNTO has just launched its latest theme campaign, ‘Luther 2017 – 500 Years of the Reformation in Germany’, which went live 31 October 2016.
Written by Peter Needham