“When I’m standing at the bar I keep coming back to the fact that 47 kinds of beer are all very fine and well except that not one of them tastes the way a beer should taste. Or at least the way I’d like it to, which is to say like a Bavarian light.”

So laments a German expat in an op-ed about what’s wrong with American microbrewing. And sure, we can understand how someone used to drinking beers brewed the same way for five centuries might find our aggressively hopped, experimental IPAs to be “a frontal assault on [the] taste buds.” 

Bavarian beers have been subject to the Reinheitsgebot (often called the beer purity law) since 1516, reports NPR. It dictates that only water, barley, and hops may be used for brewing; yeast was later added to the list. Although deviation is no longer illegal or punishable, many modern brewers continue to comply. The Reinheitsgebot seal has come to symbolize quality in the German beer world.

Steins at Stuttgart Oktoberfest. (Photo: Flickr/ LenDog64)

Steins at Stuttgart Oktoberfest. (Photo: Flickr/ LenDog64)

And yet, a recent study has found that German (and presumably other) beers are not all that pure after all. An analysis of 24 German beers (including the ten most popular brands) found that every single once was adulterated, reports Modern Farmer.

Every single sample of beer tested was found to have contaminants, ranging from microplastics to bits of glass to skin to at least once, a basically complete dead bug.

The authors of the study define microplastics as bits of plastic smaller than 5 millimeters, and write that the tiny particles are found regularly in tap water, and that’s probably how they ended up in the beer. So not only is our beer polluted with invisible plastic, our drinking water is potentially impure as well.

It’s enough to drive one to drink.

[via Modern Farmer]