Fracking beer

Posted May 29, 2013 on 8:51 pm | In the category Europe, Germany, internatinal Livability, Uncategorized | by Mackenzie Brothers

Finally some progressive optimistic news out of Europe.  It comes of course from Germany, recently voted the most popular country in the world (It remains unclear whether the pollsters reached many of the older folks in Poland, the Netherlands, Denmark, etc. while gathering statistics), nudging out Canada for the #1 spot by the length of a keg of beer. And of course the progressive  development erupts out of Bavaria, the province  where virtually all Germans would like to live.   It involves the defence of the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot , which guarantees that Bavarian beer can be made only from hops, yeast  and water. which  was  signed  into law in 1516  in Ingolstadt, 45 minutes north of München, and remains in effect until the present day.  It also guarantees that tremendous amounts of money will pour into the coffers of  München, its splendid capital and surely now Europe’s most compelling city, where most of the people who would like to live in Bavaria would like to live, especially during the fall Oktoberfest . We are speaking, of course, of the  production and quality control  for the matchless beers enjoyed today by the the Audi worker of Ingolstadt on the banks of the beautiful blue Danube as much as by the workers at the Bayrischer Motor Werke factory (BMW), as they savour their afternoon refreshment just as happily across from the Olympic Stadium.

This law has guaranteed the overwhellming superiority of Bavarian-brewed beer over all its pitiful copycats, especially those who suddenly claim that they too produce beer under Bavarian purity law  (they sure don’t taste like it) and has so far withstood endless legal  mindless attacks by the European bureaucrats in Belgium who would like to  do away with an especially delicious  regional products which make a mockery of copycats, products such as  the beers of  München and the wines and cheeses of France, not to mention the kippers of England.  Now it has become a political issue that may come back to haunt Chancellor Merkel, as she tries to help maintain the traditional power of her sister party, the CSU, in Bavaria, though never in München itself.  She has had herself photographed  lifting (with two hands) the smallest vessel (the 1-Liter Mass) into which  Bavarian beer (none other is tolerated) may be poured in  the most pleasant place in the world to quaff a beer; the Bavarian beer garden.  You can take your pick, Hirschgarten, Augustinerkeller, Nockerberg, Aumeister, Thurn und Taxis Garten, Concordia, one could go on for hours naming them .   There you sit at communal tables under the chestnut trees in one of these splendid and  incomparable beer gardens of München while the kids run about doing what kids are meant to do, and the big lads in the Lederhosen roll out the kegs one after the other for the even bigger colleague who fills up your Mass when you pass by him.  But Chancellor Merkel always looks wary and uncomfortable when she tries to do this , and her similarly -inclined conservative political friends wonder whether she is the proper person to determine their affairs when it comes to th e question of the purity of their ber. . She is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor from way up in northeast Germany, not far fro the land of the Bavarians real enemy, the Prussians of Berli.   And she does not look she can overcome that background and finish that Liter of the world’s finest, even if she’d like to.  It is a matter of DNA.  And now she is facing  a  real crisis: the immensely powerful  Association of German Breweries, which also includes the breweries of northern Germany and the German breweries of the traditionally weak US brands, which nobody buys in Bavaria.  That association has demanded that Merkel ban fracking, already a highly controversial process for Germany’s powerful environmentalists, until it is proven that it won’t contaminate ground water, especially since more than half  German breweries use water from private wells drawn on ground water.   This a tough one for Merkel since the next election is less than 3 months away  and banning fracking (or not) for awhile could prove to be a crucial decision  for both conservative rural and hip urban Germany .  That is a coalition with  which  Merkel has not reckoned and one that could cause her one big load of trouble in  crucial ridings all over the country.  May th e power be with ?

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