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What is Beer?

What is beer

Beer is the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage. It has a variety of styles and flavors that appeal to a wide range of palates. It can range from mouth-puckering sourness to nutty maltiness or even floral or fruity notes. The four main components of all beers are water, grain, hop flowers and yeast. The grain gives the body and flavor profile of the beer while the hops give it its bitterness that helps offset the sweetness from the grain. The yeast is what causes the fermentation that produces the alcohol in beer.

The type of beer made can be varied by the types of grains used, the amount of hops added and the method of brewing. The flavor of the beer can also be affected by the terroir where it is brewed, which refers to the effects of the climate and culture on the finished product. Examples of this are the sorghum and millet beers of Africa, rice wine (jiu) of China, Japanese sake, undistilled poteen or chicha of South America and fermented beverages from manioc/cassava, quinoa and agave that are found around the globe.

Beer is a versatile drink that can be found in most grocery stores, liquor stores and convenience stores as well as at local breweries and taprooms. It is often enjoyed alongside meals as a digestif or can be used as a base ingredient in cooking. It can add depth of flavor to dishes or be a leavening agent for cakes, breads and pancakes. It is also a healthy beverage when consumed in moderation, providing vitamins like B12 and folic acid, minerals such as magnesium and phosphorous and antioxidants that help protect against cell damage.

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