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West Germany has a long history with beer; In fact, their stringent ‘purity law’ was in place for hundreds of years. The law originated with a 1516 order by Duke Wilheim of Bavaria that beer was to contain nothing but malted cereals, hops, and water. Later, natural yeast was also included.
Beck’s Brewery, formally known as Brauerei Beck & Co., was founded in 1873 by Lüder Rutenberg, Heinrich Beck and Thomas May in Bremen, West Germany. It adheres to this ‘purity law’ for both its exported and its domestic beer, and often features this aspect of its history in its advertising. According to the brewery, Beck’s beer contained only hops from Tettnag and Hallertau water from Geest-area springs and the reservoirs of the Harz mountains, and yeast cultivated by Beck’s brew masters.
Dribeck Importers of Greenwich, Conn. began importing Beck’s beer in 1964, bringing 15,000 cases of the beverage into the United States. By 1985, they were bringing in more than 8 million cases of Beck’s beer. The company focused hard on developing their North American markets, and in 1999 invested 20 million dollars in a U.S. advertising campaign. Because market research showed that many American believed that the best foreign beer was made in Germany, advertising efforts highlighted the beer’s German heritage and history.
Gorman, J. (1985, May 17). BEER LOVERS SPREAD THE WORD: BECK'S: [SPORTS FINAL, C EDITION]. Chicago Tribune (Pre-1997 Fulltext)
Beer is here. (1989). Restaurant Hospitality, 73(3), 86.
Brooks, J.,(2019, December 22). Historic Beer Birthday: Heinrich Beck. Retrieved August 28, 2020, from https://brookstonbeerbulletin.com/historic-beer-birthday-heinrich-beck/