What is Beer?
Beer is an alcoholic beverage made from water, grain, hops and yeast. It can be found in a variety of flavors and styles, with varying alcohol content from mild to high. It is brewed around the world and consumed in many cultures, often in conjunction with food and sporting events. It also forms part of a rich pub culture with traditions such as beer festivals and bar crawls.
The main ingredients of all beers are water, malt (kiln-dried germinated barley) and hops, with the brewer’s choice of grain determining the flavor of the final product. The choice of hops adds bitterness and balances the sweetness of the malt. The fermentation of the starch in the grains by yeast creates alcohol and carbon dioxide, which gives beer its characteristic taste.
In addition to the ingredients of the wort, which must be made with barley, there are many different additives that can be used to add to the flavour of the beer. Aromatic herbs, spices and berries are common, and some brewing companies use plants such as chamomile, hibiscus and sage to add a floral flavour to their beers.
The earliest evidence of beer-making dates back to the Middle East around 4000 bce, and it later became popular in Europe and England. The ancient brewing process used barley as the main ingredient, and it was then mixed with water and fermented by microorganisms that accumulated on the surface of the brew vessels. The ale was served in taverns and pubs, and it eventually reached America by the late 1600s.