The Basics of Beer

Beer is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the world. It is made from a combination of water, barley malt, hops and yeast. It is a common drink in many countries and can be found in almost any liquor store or upscale supermarket.

The Basics

Beer, which is the fermented, alcoholic beverage made from barley and hops, dates back thousands of years and is credited to the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia. Archaeological evidence suggests that the beer brewing process began at least as early as 800 BCE, and the earliest known written records of the practice date from the 7th century CE.

Ingredients of beer

The primary ingredient in beer is barley malt. This grain is steeped in water and malted, a process that helps to create enzymes that convert the starches in the barley to sugars.

Other ingredients can include yeast, and a variety of other grains. The type of yeast used for fermentation determines the flavor of a beer.

Different yeasts produce varying degrees of aroma and flavor. Lager yeasts tend to be more neutral in character than ale yeasts, allowing the beer’s malt and hop characteristics to come through.

Malted barley is the most common ingredient in beer, but other grains can be used. The brewer’s yeast feeds on the sugar in the malted barley, converting it to alcohol and carbon dioxide.

The brewing process involves four steps: germination, boiling, fermentation and cooling. The wort (the liquid that is created from brewing) gets cooled again after the germination step, before being filtered again. The brewed beer is then stored until it is ready to drink.