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Introduction to GIs under the China-EU Agreement on Geographical Indications (6): Bavarian Beer & Munich Beer
2021/06/25

The China-EU Agreement on Geographical Indications officially entered into force on March 1, 2021. It is China's first bilateral comprehensive and high-level agreement on the protection of geographical indications (GIs), and an important and practical outcome in the development of China-EU economic and trade relations in recent years.

We will continue to introduce to you the first batch of 100 Chinese GIs and 100 European GIs under the Agreement, to better protect and market them to meet the needs of consumers on both sides for a better life.

GI Episode 6: Bavarian Beer & Munich Beer

Germany is known for the wide variety of its beer, with as many as more than 5,000 kinds. According to the 1516 Reinheitsgebot, also known as the German Beer Purity Law, only barley, hops and water are allowed to be used for beer brewing, and yeast was added in a later revision, capping the total ingredients at four. Although to cater to more diverse flavors, some brewers have added some other ingredients, the mainstream market is still dominated by the traditionally brewed beer, winning German beer a worldwide reputation for its purity. Bavarian beer and Munich beer are among the first European GI products to be protected under the China-EU Agreement on Geographical Indications that came into force on March 1. In both Bavaria and Munich, Pale Lager is the dominant beer.

Bavaria is a south-eastern state of Germany and Munich is its capital. Bavaria has long been a major beer brewer in Germany, and the above-mentioned German Beer Purity Law was first enacted by the Duchy of Bavaria. According to the 2020 data published by the Bavarian State Office for Statistics and Data, the state has 647 breweries, accounting for 41.8% of Germany's total.

Although Munich is part of the state of Bavaria, Munich beer and Bavarian beer are two distinct kinds distinguished by their strict certification of place of origin, as shown in their different GI marks on their bottles.

The GI mark of Bavarian beer↑

The GI mark of Munich beer↓

Germany is known as the beer country, and Bavarian beer and Munich beer are the most shining jewels on its crown, and reputed as Germany's "National Beverage", not only for their superb brewing techniques, but also for their deeply rooted beer culture.

The world-renowned Oktoberfest in Munich was launched in 1810 and has held 186 editions. Every autumn, it draws millions of tourists from all over the world to the party of beer. Dressed in colourful traditional Bavarian costumes, visitors could watch the costumed parade organized by local brewers and indulge themselves in the Munich-brewed beer with others in the bustling beer tents.

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