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Kolschbier is a popular “warm weather beer” and German classic. The name Kolsch (pronounced “kelsch”) is derived from its location… Koln, Germany (or Cologne for us Yanks). The name indicates that the beer was brewed in the traditional style of that particular city.
In order to officially called a Kolsh, the beer must be brewed by a member of the Koln Brewers Union. Much like the name “champagne” in the snobbier world of wine, the name Kolschbier is protected and controlled by the Union and may not be used by anyone else.
This question was recently submitted by a reader, and to tell you the truth I did not know much about the formaldehyde in beer issue. My initial reaction was "of course there is not formaldehyde in beer", but as I dug deeper into the research I began to grow concerned.
Now when I hear "formaldehyde" I think of preserving corpses… not exactly getting me in the mood for a cold one. So to start off I figured a definition of formaldehyde was in order:
Well, the first step is to learn how to say Reinheitsgebot…. “Rine-Hites-gaBoat” is the best pronunciation I could find. Of course some native German speaker will probably correct this, but its pretty darn close. So now that we can pronounce the word, lets get into what its all about.
The Reinheitsgebot, or “German Purity Law” as many call it, literally translates to “purity law” or “cleanliness law”. An early version of the law was proposed in 1487, but the version most speak of today originated in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt on April 23, 1516. Introduced by Duke Wilhelm IV, the original intent of the law was three fold: