World Germany to cut beer tax for home brewers as...

Germany to cut beer tax for home brewers as it tries to remove 'mildew' of bureaucracy

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Hobby brewing has taken off in Germany. There are about 10,000 hobby brewers registered with German customs, a threefold increase on a decade ago.

Germany is known for the high quality of its beer, which is ensured through the Reinheitsgebot, or beer purity rule, that limits the ingredients of beer to water, barley, hops and yeast.

Many hobby brewers see these rules as too restrictive and prefer to experiment with other ingredients.

The beer tax is one of the oldest sources of state revenue in the German-speaking world.

Beer levies were a major source of revenue to local fiefdoms in the middle ages. Even in the late 19th century, Bavaria insisted on keeping revenues from the beer tax when it was subsumed into the German empire. After losing its independence, the south-east state relied on the beer levy for around a third of its revenue.

Breweries still pay some €600 million in taxes on their production to the state, although the total paid has dropped in recent years because of Germans drinking less beer.

Last month, Germany passed a raft of measures to cut excessive rules for businesses after Mr Scholz said that the “mildew” of bureaucracy was holding the country back.

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