German beer is brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot, which permits only water, hops, and malt as ingredients and stipulates that beers not exclusively using barley-malt such as wheat beer must be top-fermented.
In 2012, Germany ranked third in Europe in terms of per-capita beer consumption, behind the Czech Republic and Austria.
The Reinheitsgebot (“purity decree”), sometimes called the “German Beer Purity Law” or the “Bavarian Purity Law” in English, was a regulation concerning the production of beer in Germany.
In the original text, the only ingredients that could be used in the production of beer were water, barley, and hops, which had to be added only while the wort was boiling. After its discovery, yeast became the fourth legal ingredient. For top-fermenting beers, the use of sugar is also permitted.