But whereas I know I can speak infallibly on the superiority of cask beer to other forms, I can't quite bring myself to condemn the Reinheitsgebot. I wouldn't want to brew under its regulations, and a lot of German brewing practice seems designed to keep to the letter of the law whilst riding roughshod over the spirit of it. Yet brewing with only water, malt, hops and yeast still seems a worthy aim to me, and there is an infinite variety of wonderful beers that can be made from those ingredients.
Many of the "innovative" ingredients of the craftily inclined are things I would actively avoid in beer rather than seek out. And despite their claims of non-conformity there is something samey about craft beer bars: the same selection of beer types, and often from a list of usual suspects.
That Germany has a distinct brewing heritage and a rich beer culture seems to me something that should be defended and I do wonder if those that rail against the Reinhetsgebot risk throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Despite my opposition to state imposed restrictions, and indeed states, I'd far rather get to Franconia and try the traditional beer there than the latest offerings from the cutting edge of craft.