What is Beer?

Beer is a fermented, alcoholic beverage made from the careful combination of water, malted barley, hops and yeast. The addition of other ingredients may be used to create a variety of styles and flavours.

Today, most Americans live within 10 miles of a craft brewery. In fact, in the past few years there has been a massive boom of breweries across the country.

But it wasn’t always that way, as the brewing industry has evolved from one dominated by the likes of Anheuser-Busch to a more diverse market where the small craft brewers are now taking on the giant alcohol conglomerates.

The first step in brewing is mashing, where hot water is poured over raw grain to activate its starch and turn it into sugar, known as wort. This is followed by a high temperature boil to remove any enzymes and stabilise the liquid, before it’s cooled to the right temperature for yeast to be added. The yeast will feed on the sugar and convert it into ethanol and carbon dioxide.

Yeast is the key ingredient that makes beer a beer, and different strains will have an impact on flavour. The resulting ethanol will give the beer its distinctive alcoholic flavour and light natural carbonation.

While a number of legal definitions exist, beer is the fermented, alcoholic product of the careful combination of water, malted barley, and hops. Other ingredients can be added to make a variety of styles and flavours, but the basic formula remains unchanged.