Early on, the producers of high-quality specialties in the different European countries already paid attention to quality, tradition, and origins. Various quality labels were used to indicate this at first sight.
As protection for the growers and identification for the consumer, the EU introduced three different labels that are subject to strict regulations. The labels can only be carried by products that are distinguished by regional origins and traditional production methods.
Already when procuring the raw materials, this designation of origin ensures domestic and foreign breweries that these are tested hop products from Germany with their special characteristics that maintain their authentic flavor thanks to regular testing.
For the geographical indication, there are two designations of origin in the European Union:
The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) is assigned to products that are produced, processed, and prepared in specific regions or at a specific location. All raw materials and ingredients must be from this region and even the processing is restricted to this region.
For example, this A to Z geographical indication with the red and yellow label is carried by hops from the Spalt growing region.
The second label associated with the geographical origins is the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). This label is assigned to products that are produced, processed, or prepared in a specific region or location using traditional methods. The raw materials or processing methods can be from this region or take place in this region, but this is not a requirement. This blue and yellow label is carried by hops from the growing regions of Hallertau, Elbe-Saale, and Tettnang.
There is yet a third label from the EU—Traditional Specialties Guaranteed (TSG). This label refers to a special production method that lends the product its specific character, making it a specialty.