What is Beer?
Beer is an alcoholic drink made from four ingredients: Water, Grain (usually malted barley), Hops and Yeast. By combining these ingredients and preparing them in different ways, brewers can make a huge variety of unique styles of beer. Beer is an easy-drinking beverage with a low alcohol content, making it safe to consume in moderation. It also contains several important vitamins and minerals, including folic acid, B12, magnesium and phosphorous.
The most common ingredient in beer is barley. It is usually malted, which means that the seeds are steeped in water and tricked into thinking it’s time to grow. This process converts the starches in the grains into sugars that yeast can turn into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Barley is used in most beers, but wheat, rye and corn are also sometimes added. Other ingredients can be added as well, such as hops, which provide a balance of bitterness and floral or fruity flavours.
Brewing is a complex and time-consuming process, but the basics are simple: Water, grain, hops and yeast. Yeast is what creates the alcohol and carbonation in beer, but what really sets the flavor of beer apart is the type of grain used and how it’s processed.
The most common types of beers are lagers and ales, with the difference being a result of how the grains are treated. To create dark beers like stouts and porters, the grains are roasted, which changes their flavour profile dramatically. Ales, on the other hand, are top-fermented in warm conditions, which gives them their distinctive fruity flavours.