What is Beer?
Beer is a delicious, complex and intoxicating beverage that can be enjoyed in moderation. There are a variety of different styles of beer to suit every palate, from crisp lagers to rich, chocolaty stouts, and everything in between. However, no matter the variation in ingredients or brewing techniques, all beer is made of the same essentials: water, barley, hops and yeast.
The water used to brew beer is not your regular tap water; it has been specially filtered to ensure that the right balance of minerals is in place. This helps create the distinctive flavor and body of the finished product.
Malted barley is the main ingredient in beer and gives it its signature flavor and aroma. It is soaked and ground in hot water to break down the starches into fermentable sugars, which are then fed to yeast to convert to alcohol and carbon dioxide. Different types of malt will lend different flavors and aromas to the finished brew.
Other grains, such as wheat, rice, rye and oats can be added to the mash to provide more complexity and flavor to the finished beer. They may also be used to add body and texture. Finally, a wide range of hops are used to impart the recognizable bitter and floral notes that characterize beer. The specific strain of hops and how they are used will influence the flavour profile of a particular beer.
Yeast is a single-celled organism that works to convert the sugars into ethanol and carbon dioxide gas. The strain of yeast can have a profound impact on the taste and aroma of the finished product, so many breweries carefully guard their own particular yeasts.