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German court rules: Beer can't be 'wholesome'


Everyone from neolithic times to America's Founding Fathers has called beer an important and nutritious, even therapeutic beverage. But now, a court in beer's 'home country' has barred brewers from calling it nutritious.

Although some like to think of it as "bread in a bottle," the State Court of Baden ruled last week that under European law, "wholesome" is a descriptor of health benefits, and an EU directive from 2006 bars drinks with more than 1.2% alcohol from claiming health benefits.

The case was based on advertising by the Harle Brewery in Leutkirch, and a complaint against it by the 'Organization for Social Competition,' an organization that could probably benefit from a couple of brewskis. However.

Harle, and its boss, Gottfried Harle, say that the description was referring to "a simple marker of quality." Harle is planning to appeal the case up to Germany's highest court, the Federal Court of Justice.

And who knows: Could EU rules on beer lead to a movement for Gerxit?

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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