American youth need a purity law

Don Norvell

Disclaimer: No alcohol was abused in the writing of this column, though much was enjoyed!

Do you ever go to a party that runs out of beer? Sure, we all do.

Do you ever give money to the one guy sober enough to go out for more? You’re an idiot!

Are you ever the guy who takes other people’s hard-earned money and returns with Natural Light?


We Americans suffer from a plague which denies us flavor and pleasure. We suffer from bad beer — if it deserves to be called beer.

Germans once suffered from the same plague!

A Web site (, titled the German Beer Law, provides a brief outline of how Germany stamped out this plague: (1) Bad beer was punished by a fine in Ausburg in 1165, (2) in 1487, Duke Albrecht IV required brewers to swear a Brew Oath which ensured that only quality beer would be served, and (3) in 1516, Duke Wilhelm IV extended George the Rich’s 1493 decree from Bayers-Landshut to all of Bavaria. Wilhelm’s decree is the famous Reinheitsgebot which remains in effect today. Another site, called Beer and Health, adds that Bavaria joined the Weimar Republic, established after World War I, on the condition that the Purity Law be instituted nationwide.

In spite of being almost a libertarian, I am so pissed off at the American brewing industry that I am turning into a socialist. After choking down Natural Light my freshman year because that was all my legal friends provided for me, I am grossly offended that consumer advocates remain indifferent to this abuse of public trust!

Where’s Ralph Nader when he may actually be useful for something good?

We Americans need a Purity Law!

This law would demand penalties for breweries which churn out contaminated water. Based upon my experience with quality beer, I predict the Purity Law would bring benefits. Because the beer will taste great, people will sip and enjoy it. Beer-bonging and other sophomoric acts will be deemed alcohol abuse, thus promoting responsible drinking habits. By sipping instead of chugging, people will drink less; therefore, they will sober up faster and will be better fit to drive home. Public safety!

While a case of Warsteiner may cost more than a case of Coors, the Warsteiner will last longer because it conforms to the German Purity Law of 1516. And so, even if an American Purity Law increases the price of Coors, it will last longer and be cheaper over time. I once made a twelve pack of Beck’s last for two parties, about one beer per hour.

The American Purity Law should contain the following provisions: (1) No product may be advertised as beer unless it is made of water, hops and either barley for dark beer or wheat for pale beer, (2) the Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, Wis., will be shut down as punishment for inventing light beer, also spelled lite beer, which will henceforth be known as diet beer, (3) diet beer is hereby forbidden, and (4) any brewery which falsely advertises contaminated water or diet beer as beer will pay a fine of $100 per fluid ounce.

Don Norvell is physics graduate assistant and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].