Brewing is the production of an alcoholic drink by steeping a starch source (typically malted barley) in water and fermenting it with yeast. A variety of factors affect the final product, including body and taste. It is a complex process with technical terms such as mashing and lautering, but it is essentially the process of controlling the interactions between water, grain, and yeast to create a specific beverage.
Most craft breweries focus on local ingredients that are fresh, high-quality, and organic where possible. This supports the local economy and reduces the environmental impact of shipping raw materials long distances. It also allows the brewer to bring the flavors of the area to the beer and reduce the likelihood that heavy preservatives will be used, which are common in mass-produced macro brews.
A brewing recipe calls for four main ingredients: water, malt, hops, and yeast. It may be made by a commercial brewer at a brewery or at home by a hobbyist brewer, known as a homebrewer. Brewing at home is more popular than ever. With a few pieces of affordable equipment and special ingredients, it’s easy to start.
As a craft beer drinker or brewer, you are part of an important community that shares a passion for great tasting, locally made beverages. These beverages are often more natural and healthier than most mass-produced beers which contain large amounts of sugars and preservatives. Craft beers also tend to have lower alcohol content than most other alcoholic drinks and can be enjoyed in moderation with friends.