On this day:
1516 – The Bayerische Reinheitsgebot (regarding the ingredients of beer) is signed in Ingolstadt.
The Reinheitsgebot (German pronunciation: [ˈʁaɪnhaɪtsɡəboːt] ( listen), literally “purity order”), sometimes called the “German Beer Purity Law” in English, is the collective name for a series of regulations limiting the ingredients in beer in Germany and the states of the former Holy Roman Empire. The best-known version of the law was adopted in Bavaria in 1516, but similar regulations predate the Bavarian order, and modern regulations also significantly differ from the 1516 Bavarian version.
1516 Bavarian law
The most influential predecessor of the modern Reinheitsgebot was a law first adopted in the duchy of Munich in 1487. After Bavaria was reunited, the Munich law was adopted across the entirety of Bavaria on April 23, 1516. As Germany unified, Bavaria pushed for adoption of this law on a national basis (see Broader adoption).
According to the 1516 Bavarian law, the only ingredients that could be used in the production of beer were water, barley and hops.
The 1516 Bavarian law set the price of beer (depending on the time of year and type of beer), limited the profits made by innkeepers, and made confiscation the penalty for making impure beer.
The text of the 1516 Bavarian law is as follows:
We hereby proclaim and decree, by Authority of our Province, that henceforth in the Duchy of Bavaria, in the country as well as in the cities and marketplaces, the following rules apply to the sale of beer:
From Michaelmas to Georgi, the price for one Mass [Bavarian Liter 1,069] or one Kopf [bowl-shaped container for fluids, not quite one Mass], is not to exceed one Pfennig Munich value, and
From Georgi to Michaelmas, the Mass shall not be sold for more than two Pfennig of the same value, the Kopf not more than three Heller [Heller usually one-half Pfennig].
If this not be adhered to, the punishment stated below shall be administered.
Should any person brew, or otherwise have, other beer than March beer, it is not to be sold any higher than one Pfennig per Mass.
Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, market-towns and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities’ confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail.
Should, however, an innkeeper in the country, city or market-towns buy two or three pails of beer (containing 60 Mass) and sell it again to the common peasantry, he alone shall be permitted to charge one Heller more for the Mass or the Kopf, than mentioned above. Furthermore, should there arise a scarcity and subsequent price increase of the barley (also considering that the times of harvest differ, due to location), WE, the Bavarian Duchy, shall have the right to order curtailments for the good of all concerned.
— Bavarian Reinheitsgebot of 1516 (emphasis added), Eden, Karl J. (1993). “History of German Brewing”. Zymurgy. 16 (4).
Born on this day:
1748 – Félix Vicq-d’Azyr, French physician and anatomist (d. 1794)
Félix Vicq d’Azyr (French: [feliks vik daziʁ]; 23 April 1748 – 20 June 1794) was a French physician and anatomist, the originator of comparative anatomy and discoverer of the theory of homology in biology.
Vicq d’Azyr was born in Valognes, Normandy, the son of a physician. He graduated in medicine at the University of Paris and became a renowned and brilliant animal and human anatomist and physician.
From 1773 Vicq d’Azyr taught a celebrated course of anatomy at the Jardin du Roi, currently the Museum of Natural History, in Paris. In 1774 he was elected a member of the Académie des Sciences with the support of his friend Condorcet, the Perpetual Secretary. In this latter capacity, he was in charge of writing the eulogies of his colleagues. This he accomplished with great talent, thus winning a lifetime membership to the Académie française in 1788. On the outbreak of an epidemic in Guyenne he was charged with writing a report, of making propositions and with their execution. Pursuing an early perception of the responsibility of the State on health affairs, Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot proposed the creation of the Société Royale de Médecine. In 1775, Vicq d’Azyr was made Perpetual Secretary. Under his leadership, the Société compiled over 16 years a great mass of facts and information about diseases, physicians, economics and food resources.
He was the last physician of Queen Marie-Antoinette, whom he tried to protect. Additionally he was a professor of veterinary medicine at the School of Alfort, as well as Superintendent of epidemics.
As an anatomist he was one of the first to use coronal sections of the brain and to use alcohol to aid dissection. He described the locus coeruleus, the locus niger (substantia nigra) in the brain, in 1786, and the band of Vicq d’Azyr, a fiber system between the external granular layer and the external pyramidal layer of the cerebral cortex, as well as the Mamillo-thalamic tract, which bears his name. His systematic studies of the cerebral convolutions became a classic and Vicq d’Azyr was one of the first neuroanatomists to name the gyri. He studied the deep gray nuclei of the cerebrum and the basal ganglia. He participated in the Second Encyclopedia.
Vicq d’Azyr died of tuberculosis on June 20, 1794 during The Terror. He had that day attended Robespierre’s Festival of the Supreme Being.
A collection of some of his papers is held at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland.