What is Beer?
When it comes to the world of alcoholic beverages, there’s no doubt that beer is one of the most popular options. It can be light or dark in color, bitter or sweet, smooth or hoppy – and all of these flavor combinations come from the same four core ingredients: water, malted barley, hops and yeast.
To make beer, brewers mix water, grain malts (such as barley, wheat, rice or oats) and hops together in a large copper kettle or stainless steel tank. This mixture is then boiled at a high temperature to get rid of any remaining enzymes and leave behind the sugars that the yeast will later convert into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Depending on the type of beer being brewed, other grains called adjuncts can also be added, adding unique flavors and textures to the finished product.
The malted barley is what provides the sweet taste of beer and is the main source of its alcohol content. The addition of hops gives it a delicious bitterness and aroma that counterbalances the sweetness from the malt. Different types of hops can provide different aromas and levels of bitterness, and brewers use these to create a variety of styles of beers.
Yeast is the last ingredient in beer and is responsible for fermenting the sugars in the malt to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. The type of yeast used can impact the flavor, body and aroma of the beer. Some beers may include other ingredients, such as spices, fruit or herbs, which can be added during the brewing process or after fermentation to add complexity and flavor.