Beer

Beer

Overview
Beer is the world's most widely consumed and
probably oldest alcoholic beverage
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water
Drinking water
Drinking water or potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually...

 and tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

. It is produced by the brewing
Brewing
Brewing is the production of beer through steeping a starch source in water and then fermenting with yeast. Brewing has taken place since around the 6th millennium BCE, and archeological evidence suggests that this technique was used in ancient Egypt...

 and fermentation of sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

s, mainly derived from malted cereal grains
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

, most commonly malt
Malt
Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air...

ed barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

 and malted wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

. Sugars derived from maize (corn) and rice are widely used adjuncts
Adjuncts
Adjuncts are unmalted grains used in brewing beer which supplement the main mash ingredient , often with the intention of cutting costs, but sometimes to create an additional feature, such as better foam retention.- Definition :Ingredients which are standard for certain beers, such as wheat in a...

 because of their lower cost. Most beer is flavoured with hops
Hops
Hops are the female flower clusters , of a hop species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine...

, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative
Preservative
A preservative is a naturally occurring or synthetically produced substance that is added to products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, paints, biological samples, wood, etc. to prevent decomposition by microbial growth or by undesirable chemical changes....

, though other flavourings such as herbs or fruit may occasionally be included.
Discussion
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Quotations

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.

Dave Barry Beer, the cause and solution to all of life's problems Phillip (Originally: "To alcohol! The cause of--and solution to--all of life's problems." Homer Simpson, in the episode Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment.)

Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.

Jack Handey an (SNL character)

It is nice when you can sit back with some friends, drink some beer and have a good time.

Dave Matthews

You can't have a Real Country unless you have a BEER and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a BEER.

Frank Zappa

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Benjamin Franklin

24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?

Steven Wright

Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.

Sir Winston Churchill

Beer, if drunk with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.

Thomas Jefferson

Give me a woman who truly loves beer, and I will conquer the world.

Wilhelm II of Germany
Encyclopedia
Beer is the world's most widely consumed and
probably oldest alcoholic beverage
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water
Drinking water
Drinking water or potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually...

 and tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

. It is produced by the brewing
Brewing
Brewing is the production of beer through steeping a starch source in water and then fermenting with yeast. Brewing has taken place since around the 6th millennium BCE, and archeological evidence suggests that this technique was used in ancient Egypt...

 and fermentation of sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

s, mainly derived from malted cereal grains
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

, most commonly malt
Malt
Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air...

ed barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

 and malted wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

. Sugars derived from maize (corn) and rice are widely used adjuncts
Adjuncts
Adjuncts are unmalted grains used in brewing beer which supplement the main mash ingredient , often with the intention of cutting costs, but sometimes to create an additional feature, such as better foam retention.- Definition :Ingredients which are standard for certain beers, such as wheat in a...

 because of their lower cost. Most beer is flavoured with hops
Hops
Hops are the female flower clusters , of a hop species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine...

, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative
Preservative
A preservative is a naturally occurring or synthetically produced substance that is added to products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, paints, biological samples, wood, etc. to prevent decomposition by microbial growth or by undesirable chemical changes....

, though other flavourings such as herbs or fruit may occasionally be included. Some of humanity's earliest known writings refer to the production and distribution of beer: the Code of Hammurabi
Code of Hammurabi
The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code, dating to ca. 1780 BC . It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, enacted the code, and partial copies exist on a human-sized stone stele and various clay...

 included laws regulating beer and beer parlours, and "The Hymn to Ninkasi
Ninkasi
Ninkasi is the ancient Sumerian matron goddess of the intoxicating beverage, beer.Her father was Enki, the lord Nudimmud, and her mother was Ninti, the queen of the Abzu. She is also one of the eight children created in order to heal one of the eight wounds that Enki receives. Furthermore, she is...

", a prayer to the Mesopotamian goddess of beer, served as both a prayer and as a method of remembering the recipe for beer in a culture with few literate people. Today, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies
Multinational corporation
A multi national corporation or enterprise , is a corporation or an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation...

 and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries.

The strength of beer is usually around 4% to 6% alcohol by volume (abv
Alcohol by volume
Alcohol by volume is a standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in an alcoholic beverage .The ABV standard is used worldwide....

) though may range from less than 1% abv, to over 20% abv in rare cases.

Beer forms part of the culture of beer-drinking nations and is associated with social traditions such as beer festival
Beer festival
A Beer Festival is an organised event during which a variety of beers are available for tasting and purchase. Beer festivals are held in a number of countries...

s, as well as a rich pub culture
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...

 involving activities like pub crawl
Pub crawl
A pub crawl is the act of one or more people drinking in multiple pubs or bars in a single night, normally walking or busing to each one between drinking.-Origin of the term:...

ing and pub games
Pub games
Pub games are games which are or were played in pubs, bars, inns, and taverns, particularly traditional games played in English pubs. Most are indoor games, though some are played outdoors Pub games are games which are or were played in pubs, bars, inns, and taverns, particularly traditional games...

 such as bar billiards
Bar billiards
Bar Billiards is a form of billiards which is often thought to be based on the traditional game of bagatelle. It is actually based on the French/Belgian Billard Russe game that preceded it....

.

History




Beer is one of the world's oldest prepared beverages, possibly dating back to the early Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A denotes the first stage in early Levantine Neolithic culture, dating around 9500 to 8500 BC. Archaeological remains are located in the Levantine and upper Mesopotamian region of the Fertile Crescent...

 or 9500 BC, when cereal was first farmed
History of agriculture
Agriculture was developed at least 10,000 years ago, and it has undergone significant developments since the time of the earliest cultivation. The Fertile Crescent of Western Asia, Egypt, and India were sites of the earliest planned sowing and harvesting of plants that had previously been gathered...

, and is recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 and Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

. Archaeologists speculate that beer was instrumental in the formation of civilisations.

The earliest known chemical evidence of beer dates to circa 3500–3100 BC from the site of Godin Tepe
Godin Tepe
Godin Tepe is an archaeological site in western Iran, situated in the valley of Kangavar in Kermanshah Province. Discovered in 1961, the site was excavated from 1965 to 1973 by a Canadian expedition headed by T. Cuyler Young Jr...

 in the Zagros Mountains
Zagros Mountains
The Zagros Mountains are the largest mountain range in Iran and Iraq. With a total length of 1,500 km , from northwestern Iran, and roughly correlating with Iran's western border, the Zagros range spans the whole length of the western and southwestern Iranian plateau and ends at the Strait of...

 of western Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. Some of the earliest Sumerian writings found in the region contain references to a type of beer; one such example, a prayer to the goddess Ninkasi
Ninkasi
Ninkasi is the ancient Sumerian matron goddess of the intoxicating beverage, beer.Her father was Enki, the lord Nudimmud, and her mother was Ninti, the queen of the Abzu. She is also one of the eight children created in order to heal one of the eight wounds that Enki receives. Furthermore, she is...

, known as "The Hymn to Ninkasi", served as both a prayer as well as a method of remembering the recipe for beer in a culture with few literate people. The Ebla tablets
Ebla tablets
The Ebla tablets are a collection of as many as 1800 complete clay tablets, 4700 fragments and many thousand minor chips found in the palace archives of the ancient city of Ebla, Syria. The tablets were discovered by Italian archaeologist Paolo Matthiae and his team in 1974–75 during their...

, discovered in 1974 in Ebla
Ebla
Ebla Idlib Governorate, Syria) was an ancient city about southwest of Aleppo. It was an important city-state in two periods, first in the late third millennium BC, then again between 1800 and 1650 BC....

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and date back to 2500 BC, reveal that the city produced a range of beers, including one that appears to be named "Ebla" after the city. A beer made from rice, which, unlike sake, did not use the amylolytic process
Amylolytic process
Amylolysis, or the amylolytic process, is the conversion of starch into sugar by the action of acids or enzymes like amylase.The amylolytic process is used in the brewing of alcohol from grains. Since grains contain starches but little to no simple sugars, the sugar needed to produce alcohol is...

, and was probably prepared for fermentation by mastication
Mastication
Mastication or chewing is the process by which food is crushed and ground by teeth. It is the first step of digestion and it increases the surface area of foods to allow more efficient break down by enzymes. During the mastication process, the food is positioned between the teeth for grinding by...

 or malting, was made in China around 7000 BC.

As almost any substance containing carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s, mainly sugars or starch, can naturally undergo fermentation, it is likely that beer-like beverages were independently invented among various cultures throughout the world. Bread and beer increased prosperity to a level that allowed time for development of other technology and contributed to the building of civilizations.

Beer was spread through Europe by Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 and Celtic tribes as far back as 3000 BC, and it was mainly brewed on a domestic scale. The product that the early Europeans drank might not be recognised as beer by most people today. Alongside the basic starch source, the early European beers might contain fruits, honey, numerous types of plants, spices and other substances such as narcotic
Narcotic
The term narcotic originally referred medically to any psychoactive compound with any sleep-inducing properties. In the United States of America it has since become associated with opioids, commonly morphine and heroin and their derivatives, such as hydrocodone. The term is, today, imprecisely...

 herbs. What they did not contain was hops
Hops
Hops are the female flower clusters , of a hop species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine...

, as that was a later addition, first mentioned in Europe around 822 by a Carolingian Abbot and again in 1067 by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen
Hildegard of Bingen
Blessed Hildegard of Bingen , also known as Saint Hildegard, and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath. Elected a magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136, she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and...

.

In 1516, William IV
William IV, Duke of Bavaria
William IV of Bavaria was Duke of Bavaria from 1508 to 1550, until 1545 together with his younger brother Louis X, Duke of Bavaria....

, Duke of Bavaria, adopted the Reinheitsgebot
Reinheitsgebot
The Reinheitsgebot , sometimes called the "German Beer Purity Law" or the "Bavarian Purity Law" in English, was a regulation concerning the production of beer in Germany. In the original text, the only ingredients that could be used in the production of beer were water, barley and hops...

(purity law), perhaps the oldest food-quality regulation still in use in the 21st century, according to which the only allowed ingredients of beer are water, hops
Hop (plant)
Humulus, Hop, is a small genus of flowering plants native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The female flowers of H. lupulus are known as hops, and are used as a culinary flavoring and stabilizer, especially in the brewing of beer...

 and barley-malt
Malt
Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air...

. Beer produced before the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 continued to be made and sold on a domestic scale, although by the 7th century AD, beer was also being produced and sold by European monasteries. During the Industrial Revolution, the production of beer moved from artisan
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

al manufacture to industrial manufacture
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

, and domestic manufacture ceased to be significant by the end of the 19th century. The development of hydrometer
Hydrometer
A hydrometer is an instrument used to measure the specific gravity of liquids; that is, the ratio of the density of the liquid to the density of water....

s and thermometer
Thermometer
Developed during the 16th and 17th centuries, a thermometer is a device that measures temperature or temperature gradient using a variety of different principles. A thermometer has two important elements: the temperature sensor Developed during the 16th and 17th centuries, a thermometer (from the...

s changed brewing by allowing the brewer more control of the process and greater knowledge of the results.

Today, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries. As of 2006, more than 133 billion liters (35 billion gallons), the equivalent of a cube 510 metres on a side, of beer are sold per year, producing total global revenues of $294.5 billion (£147.7 billion).

In 2010, China's beer consumption hit 450 million hectoliters (45 billion liters) or nearly twice that of the United States but only 5 percent sold were Premium draught beers, compared with 50 percent in France and Germany.

Brewing




The process of making beer is known as brewing. A dedicated building for the making of beer is called a brewery
Brewery
A brewery is a dedicated building for the making of beer, though beer can be made at home, and has been for much of beer's history. A company which makes beer is called either a brewery or a brewing company....

, though beer can be made in the home and has been for much of its history. A company that makes beer is called either a brewery or a brewing company. Beer made on a domestic scale for non-commercial reasons is classified as homebrewing
Homebrewing
Homebrewing is the brewing of beer, wine, sake, mead, cider, perry and other beverages through fermentation on a small scale as a hobby for personal consumption, free distribution at social gatherings, amateur brewing competitions or other non-commercial reasons...

 regardless of where it is made, though most homebrewed beer is made in the home. Brewing beer is subject to legislation and taxation in developed countries, which from the late 19th century largely restricted brewing to a commercial operation only. However, the UK government relaxed legislation in 1963, followed by Australia in 1972 and the USA in 1979, allowing homebrewing to become a popular hobby.

The purpose of brewing is to convert the starch source into a sugary liquid called wort
Wort
Wort may refer to:* Wort, the liquid created by the mashing of malted barley to use in brewing beer* Worting, Hampshire, a large district and suburb of the town of Basingstoke, in Hampshire, England....

 and to convert the wort into the alcoholic beverage
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

 known as beer in a fermentation process effected by yeast.
The first step, where the wort is prepared by mixing the starch source (normally malted barley) with hot water, is known as "mashing
Mashing
In brewing and distilling, mashing is the process of combining a mix of milled grain , known as the "grain bill", and water, known as "liquor", and heating this mixture...

". Hot water (known as "liquor" in brewing terms) is mixed with crushed malt or malts (known as "grist
Grist
Grist is grain that has been separated from its chaff in preparation for grinding. It can also mean grain that has been ground at a grist mill. Its etymology derives from the verb grind....

") in a mash tun. The mashing process takes around 1 to 2 hours, during which the starches are converted to sugars, and then the sweet wort is drained off the grains. The grains are now washed in a process known as "sparging". This washing allows the brewer to gather as much of the fermentable liquid from the grains as possible. The process of filtering the spent grain from the wort and sparge water is called wort separation. The traditional process for wort separation is lautering
Lautering
Lautering is a process in brewing beer in which the mash is separated into the clear liquid wort and the residual grain. Lautering usually consists of 3 steps: mashout, recirculation, and sparging.-Mashout:...

, in which the grain bed itself serves as the filter medium. Some modern breweries prefer the use of filter frames which allow a more finely ground grist. Most modern breweries use a continuous sparge, collecting the original wort and the sparge water together. However, it is possible to collect a second or even third wash with the not quite spent grains as separate batches. Each run would produce a weaker wort and thus a weaker beer. This process is known as second (and third) runnings. Brewing with several runnings is called parti gyle brewing.

The sweet wort collected from sparging is put into a kettle, or "copper", (so called because these vessels were traditionally made from copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

) and boiled, usually for about one hour. During boiling, water in the wort evaporates, but the sugars and other components of the wort remain; this allows more efficient use of the starch sources in the beer. Boiling also destroys any remaining enzymes left over from the mashing stage. Hops
Hops
Hops are the female flower clusters , of a hop species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine...

 are added during boiling as a source of bitterness, flavour and aroma. Hops may be added at more than one point during the boil. The longer the hops are boiled, the more bitterness they contribute, but the less hop flavour and aroma remains in the beer.

After boiling, the hopped wort is now cooled, ready for the yeast. In some breweries, the hopped wort may pass through a hopback, which is a small vat filled with hops, to add aromatic hop flavouring and to act as a filter; but usually the hopped wort is simply cooled for the fermenter, where the yeast is added. During fermentation, the wort becomes beer in a process which requires a week to months depending on the type of yeast and strength of the beer. In addition to producing alcohol, fine particulate matter suspended in the wort settles during fermentation. Once fermentation is complete, the yeast also settles, leaving the beer clear.

Fermentation is sometimes carried out in two stages, primary and secondary. Once most of the alcohol has been produced during primary fermentation, the beer is transferred to a new vessel and allowed a period of secondary fermentation. Secondary fermentation is used when the beer requires long storage before packaging or greater clarity. When the beer has fermented, it is packaged either into casks for cask ale
Cask ale
Cask ale or cask-conditioned beer is the term for unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure...

 or kegs, aluminium cans
Beverage can
A beverage can is a tin can designed to hold a specific portion of a beverage. Beverage cans are made of tin-plated steel or aluminium.- History :...

, or bottles for other sorts of beer.

Ingredients



The basic ingredients of beer are water; a starch source, such as malt
Malt
Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air...

ed barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, able to be fermented (converted into alcohol); a brewer's yeast to produce the fermentation; and a flavouring such as hops
Hops
Hops are the female flower clusters , of a hop species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine...

. A mixture of starch sources may be used, with a secondary starch source, such as maize (corn), rice or sugar, often being termed an adjunct, especially when used as a lower-cost substitute for malted barley. Less widely used starch sources include millet
Millet
The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult...

, sorghum
Sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

 and cassava
Cassava
Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

 root in Africa, potato in Brazil, and agave
Agave
Agave is a genus of monocots. The plants are perennial, but each rosette flowers once and then dies ; they are commonly known as the century plant....

 in Mexico, among others. The amount of each starch source in a beer recipe is collectively called the grain bill.

Water
Beer is composed mostly of water. Regions have water with different mineral components; as a result, different regions were originally better suited to making certain types of beer, thus giving them a regional character. For example, Dublin has hard water
Hard water
Hard water is water that has high mineral content . Hard water has high concentrations of Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions. Hard water is generally not harmful to one's health but can pose serious problems in industrial settings, where water hardness is monitored to avoid costly breakdowns in boilers, cooling...

 well suited to making stout
Stout
Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or barley, hops, water and yeast. Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters, typically 7% or 8%, produced by a brewery....

, such as Guinness
Guinness
Guinness is a popular Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness at St. James's Gate, Dublin. Guinness is directly descended from the porter style that originated in London in the early 18th century and is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide, brewed in almost...

; while Pilzen has soft water well suited to making pale lager
Pale lager
Pale lager is a very pale to golden-coloured beer with a well attenuated body and a varying degree of noble hop bitterness. The brewing process for this beer developed in the mid 19th century when Gabriel Sedlmayr took pale ale brewing techniques back to the Spaten Brewery in Germany and applied it...

, such as Pilsner Urquell
Pilsner Urquell
Plzeňský Prazdroj , known better by its German name Pilsner Urquell , is a bottom-fermented beer produced since 1842 in Pilsen, part of today's Czech Republic. Pilsner Urquell was the first pilsner beer in the world...

. The waters of Burton in England contain gypsum
Gypsum
Gypsum is a very soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, with the chemical formula CaSO4·2H2O. It is found in alabaster, a decorative stone used in Ancient Egypt. It is the second softest mineral on the Mohs Hardness Scale...

, which benefits making pale ale
Pale ale
Pale ale is a beer which uses a warm fermentation and predominantly pale malt. It is one of the world's major beer styles.The higher proportion of pale malts results in a lighter colour. The term "pale ale" was being applied around 1703 for beers made from malts dried with coke, which resulted in a...

 to such a degree that brewers of pale ales will add gypsum to the local water in a process known as Burtonisation.

Starch source

The starch source in a beer provides the fermentable material and is a key determinant of the strength and flavour of the beer. The most common starch source used in beer is malted grain. Grain is malted by soaking it in water, allowing it to begin germination
Germination
Germination is the process in which a plant or fungus emerges from a seed or spore, respectively, and begins growth. The most common example of germination is the sprouting of a seedling from a seed of an angiosperm or gymnosperm. However the growth of a sporeling from a spore, for example the...

, and then drying the partially germinated grain in a kiln. Malting grain produces enzymes that convert starches in the grain into fermentable sugars. Different roasting times and temperatures are used to produce different colours of malt from the same grain. Darker malts will produce darker beers.

Nearly all beer includes barley malt as the majority of the starch. This is because its fibrous hull remains attached to the grain during threshing. After malting, barley is milled, which finally removes the hull, breaking it into large pieces. These pieces remain with the grain during the mash
Mashing
In brewing and distilling, mashing is the process of combining a mix of milled grain , known as the "grain bill", and water, known as "liquor", and heating this mixture...

, and act as a filter bed during lautering
Lautering
Lautering is a process in brewing beer in which the mash is separated into the clear liquid wort and the residual grain. Lautering usually consists of 3 steps: mashout, recirculation, and sparging.-Mashout:...

, when sweet wort
Wort
Wort may refer to:* Wort, the liquid created by the mashing of malted barley to use in brewing beer* Worting, Hampshire, a large district and suburb of the town of Basingstoke, in Hampshire, England....

 is separated from insoluble grain material. Other malted and unmalted grains (including wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

, oats
OATS
OATS - Open Source Assistive Technology Software - is a source code repository or "forge" for assistive technology software. It was launched in 2006 with the goal to provide a one-stop “shop” for end users, clinicians and open-source developers to promote and develop open source assistive...

, and rye
Rye
Rye is a grass grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe and is closely related to barley and wheat. Rye grain is used for flour, rye bread, rye beer, some whiskeys, some vodkas, and animal fodder...

, and less frequently, corn
Corn
Corn is the name used in the United States, Canada, and Australia for the grain maize.In much of the English-speaking world, the term "corn" is a generic term for cereal crops, such as* Barley* Oats* Wheat* Rye- Places :...

 and sorghum
Sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

) may be used. In recent years, a few brewers have produced gluten-free beer, made with sorghum with no barley malt, for those who cannot consume gluten
Gluten
Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye...

-containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye.

Hops

Flavouring beer is the sole major commercial use of hops. The flower of the hop vine
Hop (plant)
Humulus, Hop, is a small genus of flowering plants native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The female flowers of H. lupulus are known as hops, and are used as a culinary flavoring and stabilizer, especially in the brewing of beer...

 is used as a flavouring and preservative agent in nearly all beer made today. The flowers themselves are often called "hops".

Hops were used by monastery breweries, such as Corvey in Westphalia, Germany, from AD 822, though the date normally given for widespread cultivation of hops for use in beer is the thirteenth century. Before the thirteenth century, and until the sixteenth century, during which hops took over as the dominant flavouring, beer was flavoured with other plants; for instance, Glechoma hederacea. Combinations of various aromatic herbs, berries, and even ingredients like wormwood would be combined into a mixture known as gruit
Gruit
Gruit is an old-fashioned herb mixture used for bittering and flavoring beer, popular before the extensive use of hops. Gruit or grut ale may also refer to the beverage produced using gruit....

 and used as hops are now used. Some beers today, such as Fraoch' by the Scottish Heather Ales company and Cervoise Lancelot by the French Brasserie-Lancelot company, use plants other than hops for flavouring.

Hops contain several characteristics that brewers desire in beer. Hops contribute a bitterness that balances the sweetness of the malt; the bitterness of beers is measured on the International Bitterness Units scale. Hops contribute floral, citrus, and herbal aromas and flavours to beer. Hops have an antibiotic
Antibiotic
An antibacterial is a compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria.The term is often used synonymously with the term antibiotic; today, however, with increased knowledge of the causative agents of various infectious diseases, antibiotic has come to denote a broader range of...

 effect that favours the activity of brewer's yeast over less desirable microorganisms, and hops aids in "head retention", the length of time that a foamy head created by carbonation will last. The acidity of hops is a preservative.

Yeast

Yeast is the microorganism
Microorganism
A microorganism or microbe is a microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters, or no cell at all...

 that is responsible for fermentation in beer. Yeast metabolises
Metabolism
Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in the cells of living organisms to sustain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. Metabolism is usually divided into two categories...

 the sugars extracted from grains, which produces alcohol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

 and carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

, and thereby turns wort
Wort
Wort may refer to:* Wort, the liquid created by the mashing of malted barley to use in brewing beer* Worting, Hampshire, a large district and suburb of the town of Basingstoke, in Hampshire, England....

 into beer. In addition to fermenting the beer, yeast influences the character and flavour.
The dominant types of yeast used to make beer are the top-fermenting Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a species of yeast. It is perhaps the most useful yeast, having been instrumental to baking and brewing since ancient times. It is believed that it was originally isolated from the skin of grapes...

and bottom-fermenting Saccharomyces uvarum. Brettanomyces
Brettanomyces
Brettanomyces is a non-spore forming genus of yeast in the family Saccharomycetaceae, and is often colloquially referred to as "Brett". The genus name Dekkera is used interchangeably with Brettanomyces, as it describes the teleomorph or spore forming form of the yeast. The cellular morphology of...

ferments lambic
Lambic
Lambic is a very distinctive type of beer brewed only in the Pajottenland region of Belgium and in Brussels itself at the Cantillon Brewery and museum...

s, and Torulaspora delbrueckii
Torulaspora delbrueckii
Torulaspora delbrueckii is a yeast species which is also known as Saccharomyces delbrueckii or Saccharomyces rosei .The genetic analyses have revealed that the various strains treated as T...

ferments Bavarian weissbier
Weissbier
Weissbier , also known as Weizenbier , is a Bavarian specialty beer in which a significant proportion of malted barley is replaced with malted wheat: a wheat beer. By German law, Weissbiers brewed in Germany must be top-fermented...

.
Before the role of yeast in fermentation was understood, fermentation involved wild or airborne yeasts. A few styles such as lambics rely on this method today, but most modern fermentation adds pure yeast cultures
Microbiological culture
A microbiological culture, or microbial culture, is a method of multiplying microbial organisms by letting them reproduce in predetermined culture media under controlled laboratory conditions. Microbial cultures are used to determine the type of organism, its abundance in the sample being tested,...

.

Clarifying agent

Some brewers add one or more clarifying agents to beer, which typically precipitate (collect as a solid) out of the beer along with protein solids and are found only in trace amounts in the finished product. This process makes the beer appear bright and clean, rather than the cloudy appearance of ethnic and older styles of beer such as wheat beer
Wheat beer
Wheat beer is a beer that is brewed with a large proportion of wheat. Wheat beers often also contain a significant proportion of malted barley. Wheat beers are usually top-fermented...

s.

Examples of clarifying agents include isinglass
Isinglass
Isinglass is a substance obtained from the dried swim bladders of fish. It is a form of collagen used mainly for the clarification of wine and beer. It can also be cooked into a paste for specialized gluing purposes....

, obtained from swimbladders of fish; Irish moss, a seaweed; kappa carrageenan
Carrageenan
Carrageenans or carrageenins are a family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red seaweeds. There are several varieties of carrageen used in cooking and baking. Kappa-carrageenan is used mostly in breading and batter due to its gelling nature...

, from the seaweed Kappaphycus cottonii
Kappaphycus cottonii
Kappaphycus alvarezii is a species of red alga. It is one of the most important commercial sources of carrageenans, a family of gel-forming, viscosifying polysaccharides. Farming methods affect the character of the carrageenan that can be extracted from the seaweed.This alga grows to two meters...

; Polyclar (artificial); and gelatin
Gelatin
Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, brittle , flavorless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceuticals, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar...

. If a beer is marked "suitable for Vegans", it was clarified either with seaweed or with artificial agents.

Production


The brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies
Multinational corporation
A multi national corporation or enterprise , is a corporation or an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation...

 and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries. More than 133 billion liters (35 billion gallons) are sold per year—producing total global revenues of $294.5 billion (£147.7 billion) in 2006.

A microbrewery, or craft brewery, is a modern brewery which produces a limited amount of beer. The maximum amount of beer a brewery can produce and still be classed as a microbrewery varies by region and by authority, though is usually around 15,000 barrels (18,000 hectolitres/ 475,000 US gallons) a year. A brewpub is a type of microbrewery that incorporates a pub
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...

 or other eating establishment
Bar (establishment)
A bar is a business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks — beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails — for consumption on the premises.Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables or counters for their patrons. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go...

.

SABMiller
SABMiller
SABMiller plc is a global brewing and bottling company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's second-largest brewing company measured by revenues and is also a major bottler of Coca-Cola. Its brands include Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell...

 became the largest brewing company in the world when it acquired Royal Grolsch, brewer of Dutch premium beer brand Grolsch.
InBev was the second-largest beer-producing company in the world,[68] and Anheuser-Busch held the third spot, but after the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by InBev, the new Anheuser-Busch InBev company is the largest brewer in the world."

Brewing at home
Homebrewing
Homebrewing is the brewing of beer, wine, sake, mead, cider, perry and other beverages through fermentation on a small scale as a hobby for personal consumption, free distribution at social gatherings, amateur brewing competitions or other non-commercial reasons...

 is subject to regulation and prohibition in many countries. Restrictions on homebrewing were lifted in the UK in 1963, Australia followed suit in 1972, and the USA in 1978, though individual states were allowed to pass their own laws limiting production.

Varieties




While there are many types of beer brewed, the basics of brewing beer are shared across national and cultural boundaries. The traditional European brewing regions—Germany
German beer
Beer is a major part of German culture. For many years German beer was brewed in adherence to the Reinheitsgebot order or law which only permitted water, hops and malt as beer ingredients until its repeal in 1988. The order also required that beers not exclusively using barley-malts such as wheat...

, Belgium
Belgian beer
Beer in Belgium varies from pale lager to lambic beer and Flemish red. There are approximately 178 breweries in the country, ranging from international giants to microbreweries..-History:...

, England and the Czech Republic
Czech beer
Beer in the Czech Republic has a long and important history. The first brewery is known to have existed in 1118. The city of Brno had the right to brew beer from the 12th century, and the two cities most associated with Czech beer, Plzeň and České Budějovice , had breweries in the 13th...

—have local varieties of beer.

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson (writer)
Michael Jackson was an English writer and journalist. He was the author of several influential books about beer and whisky.-Life:...

, in his 1977 book The World Guide To Beer, categorised beers from around the world in local style groups suggested by local customs and names. Fred Eckhardt
Fred Eckhardt
Fred Eckhardt is an American brewer, homebrewing advocate and publicist. He writes about brewed beverages—beer and sake, and wrote the 1989 book, The Essentials of Beer Style...

 furthered Jackson's work in The Essentials of Beer Style in 1989.

Top-fermented beers are most commonly produced with Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a species of yeast. It is perhaps the most useful yeast, having been instrumental to baking and brewing since ancient times. It is believed that it was originally isolated from the skin of grapes...

which clumps
Yeast flocculation
Yeast flocculation typically refers to the clumping together of brewing yeast once the sugar in a beer has been fermented into ethyl alcohol...

 and rises to the surface, typically between 15 and 24 °C (60 and 75 °F). At these temperatures, yeast produces significant amounts of ester
Ester
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...

s and other secondary flavour and aroma products, and the result is often a beer with slightly "fruity" compounds resembling apple, pear, pineapple, banana, plum, or prune, among others.

Before the introduction of hops into England from the Netherlands in the 15th century, the name "ale" was exclusively applied to unhopped fermented beverages, the term beer being gradually introduced to describe a brew with an infusion of hops. The word ale may come from the Old English ealu, in turn from the Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 base *alut-, which holds connotations of "sorcery, magic, possession, intoxication".

Real ale is the term coined by the Campaign for Real Ale
Campaign for Real Ale
The Campaign for Real Ale is an independent voluntary consumer organisation based in St Albans, England, whose main aims are promoting real ale, real cider and the traditional British pub...

 (CAMRA) in 1973 for "beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide
Carbonation
Carbonation is the process of dissolving carbon dioxide in water. The process usually involves carbon dioxide under high pressure. When the pressure is reduced, the carbon dioxide is released from the solution as small bubbles, which cause the solution to "fizz." This effect is seen in carbonated...

". It is applied to bottle conditioned and cask conditioned beers.

Pale Ale
Pale ale is a beer which uses a top-fermenting yeast and predominantly pale malt. It is one of the world's major beer style
Beer style
Beer style is a term used to differentiate and categorize beers by various factors such as colour, flavour, strength, ingredients, production method, recipe, history, or origin....

s.

Stout
Stout
Stout
Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or barley, hops, water and yeast. Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters, typically 7% or 8%, produced by a brewery....

 and porter are dark beers made using roasted malts or roast barley, and typically brewed with slow fermenting yeast. There are a number of variations including Baltic porter, dry stout, and Imperial stout. The name Porter was first used in 1721 to describe a dark brown beer popular with the street and river porters
Porter (carrier)
A porter, also called a bearer, is a person who shifts objects for others.-Historical meaning:Human adaptability and flexibility early led to the use of humans for shifting gear...

 of London. This same beer later also became known as stout, though the word stout had been used as early as 1677. The history and development of stout and porter are intertwined.

Mild
Mild ale has a predominantly malty palate. It is usually dark coloured with an abv
Alcohol by volume
Alcohol by volume is a standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in an alcoholic beverage .The ABV standard is used worldwide....

 of 3% to 3.6%, although there are lighter hued milds as well as stronger examples reaching 6% abv and higher.

Wheat
Wheat beer
Wheat beer
Wheat beer is a beer that is brewed with a large proportion of wheat. Wheat beers often also contain a significant proportion of malted barley. Wheat beers are usually top-fermented...

 is brewed with a large proportion of wheat although it often also contains a significant proportion of malted barley. Wheat beers are usually top-fermented (in Germany they have to be by law). The flavour of wheat beers varies considerably, depending upon the specific style.

Lager

Lager
Lager
Lager is a type of beer made from malted barley that is brewed and stored at low temperatures. There are many types of lager; pale lager is the most widely-consumed and commercially available style of beer in the world; Pilsner, Bock, Dortmunder Export and Märzen are all styles of lager...

 is the English name for cool fermenting beers of Central European origin. Pale lager
Pale lager
Pale lager is a very pale to golden-coloured beer with a well attenuated body and a varying degree of noble hop bitterness. The brewing process for this beer developed in the mid 19th century when Gabriel Sedlmayr took pale ale brewing techniques back to the Spaten Brewery in Germany and applied it...

s are the most commonly consumed beers in the world. The name "lager" comes from the German "lagern" for "to store", as brewers around Bavaria stored beer in cool cellars and caves during the warm summer months. These brewers noticed that the beers continued to ferment, and to also clear of sediment, when stored in cool conditions.

Lager yeast is a cool bottom-fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces pastorianus
Saccharomyces pastorianus
Saccharomyces pastorianus is a yeast, used industrially for the production of lager beer. It is a synonym of the yeast species Saccharomyces carlsbergensis, which was originally described in 1883 by Emil Christian Hansen, who was working for the Danish brewery Carlsberg.-Genomics:As S...

) and typically undergoes primary fermentation at 7 – (the fermentation phase), and then is given a long secondary fermentation at 0 – (the lagering phase). During the secondary stage, the lager clears and mellows. The cooler conditions also inhibit the natural production of ester
Ester
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...

s and other byproducts, resulting in a "cleaner"-tasting beer.

Modern methods of producing lager were pioneered by Gabriel Sedlmayr the Younger, who perfected dark brown lagers at the Spaten Brewery in Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, and Anton Dreher
Anton Dreher
Anton Dreher was an Austrian brewer who was an important figure in the development of pale lager....

, who began brewing a lager (now known as Vienna lager), probably of amber-red colour, in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 in 1840–1841. With improved modern yeast strains, most lager breweries use only short periods of cold storage, typically 1–3 weeks.

Lambic
Lambic
Lambic
Lambic is a very distinctive type of beer brewed only in the Pajottenland region of Belgium and in Brussels itself at the Cantillon Brewery and museum...

, a beer of Belgium, is naturally fermented using wild yeasts, rather than cultivated. Many of these are not strains of brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and may have significant differences in aroma and sourness. Yeast varieties such as Brettanomyces bruxellensis
Brettanomyces bruxellensis
Brettanomyces bruxellensis is a yeast native to the Senne valley near Brussels, Belgium. It is one of several members of the genus, which was discovered at the Carlsberg brewery in 1904 by N. Hjelte Claussen, who was investigating it as a cause of spoilage in English ales, hence the name...

and Brettanomyces lambicus are common in lambics. In addition, other organisms such as Lactobacillus
Lactobacillus
Lactobacillus is a genus of Gram-positive facultative anaerobic or microaerophilic rod-shaped bacteria. They are a major part of the lactic acid bacteria group, named as such because most of its members convert lactose and other sugars to lactic acid. They are common and usually benign...

bacteria produce acids which contribute to the sourness.

Measurement



Beer is measured and assessed by bitterness, by strength and by colour. The perceived bitterness is measured by the International Bitterness Units scale (IBU), defined in co-operation between the American Society of Brewing Chemists
American Society of Brewing Chemists
The ASBC is a professional organization of scientists and technical professionals in the brewing, malting, and allied industries. It publishes a journal, the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, usually four times a year....

 and the European Brewery Convention
European Brewery Convention
European Brewery Convention is an organisation of technical experts for European brewers and maltsters, and the scientific and technological branch of The Brewers of Europe....

. The international scale was a development of the European Bitterness Units scale, often abbreviated as EBU, and the bitterness values should be identical.

Colour



Beer colour is determined by the malt. The most common colour is a pale amber produced from using pale malts. Pale lager and pale ale are terms used for beers made from malt dried with coke
Coke (fuel)
Coke is the solid carbonaceous material derived from destructive distillation of low-ash, low-sulfur bituminous coal. Cokes from coal are grey, hard, and porous. While coke can be formed naturally, the commonly used form is man-made.- History :...

. Coke was first used for roasting malt in 1642, but it was not until around 1703 that the term pale ale was used.

In terms of sales volume, most of today's beer is based on the pale lager brewed in 1842 in the town of Pilsen in the present-day Czech Republic
Czech beer
Beer in the Czech Republic has a long and important history. The first brewery is known to have existed in 1118. The city of Brno had the right to brew beer from the 12th century, and the two cities most associated with Czech beer, Plzeň and České Budějovice , had breweries in the 13th...

. The modern pale lager is light in colour with a noticeable carbonation (fizzy bubbles) and a typical alcohol by volume
Alcohol by volume
Alcohol by volume is a standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in an alcoholic beverage .The ABV standard is used worldwide....

 content of around 5%. The Pilsner Urquell
Pilsner Urquell
Plzeňský Prazdroj , known better by its German name Pilsner Urquell , is a bottom-fermented beer produced since 1842 in Pilsen, part of today's Czech Republic. Pilsner Urquell was the first pilsner beer in the world...

, Bitburger
Bitburger
Bitburger brewery is a large German brewery founded in 1817 by Johann Wallenborn.Bitburger ranks number 3 among Germany's best selling breweries with annual sales of 3.86 million hectolitres in 2008, the best known product being Bitburger Premium Pils.-History:Johann Peter Wallenborn founded the...

, and Heineken
Heineken Pilsener
Heineken is a Dutch beer which has been brewed by Heineken International since 1873. It is available in a 4.6% alcohol variety in countries such as Ireland. It is the flagship product of the Heineken company and is made of purified water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. In 1886 H...

 brands of beer are typical examples of pale lager, as are the American brands Budweiser
Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch)
Budweiser is a 5.0% abv American-style lager introduced in 1876 by Adolphus Busch and one of the highest selling beers in the United States. It is made with up to 30% rice in addition to hops and barley malt. Budweiser is produced in various breweries located around the world...

, Coors
Coors Brewing Company
The Coors Brewing Company is a regional division of the world's fifth-largest brewing company, the Canadian Molson Coors Brewing Company and is the third-largest brewer in the United States...

, and Miller
Miller Brewing Company
The Miller Brewing Company is an American beer brewing company owned by the United Kingdom-based SABMiller. Its regional headquarters are located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the company has brewing facilities in Albany, Georgia; Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; Eden, North Carolina; Fort Worth, Texas;...

.

Dark beers are usually brewed from a pale malt or lager malt base with a small proportion of darker malt added to achieve the desired shade. Other colourants—such as caramel—are also widely used to darken beers. Very dark beers, such as stout
Stout
Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or barley, hops, water and yeast. Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters, typically 7% or 8%, produced by a brewery....

, use dark or patent malts that have been roasted longer. Some have roasted unmalted barley.

Strength



Beer ranges from less than 3% alcohol by volume
Alcohol by volume
Alcohol by volume is a standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in an alcoholic beverage .The ABV standard is used worldwide....

 (abv) to around 14% abv, though this strength can be increased to around 20% by re-pitching with champagne yeast, and to 55% abv by the freeze-distilling process. The alcohol content of beer varies by local practice or beer style. The pale lager
Pale lager
Pale lager is a very pale to golden-coloured beer with a well attenuated body and a varying degree of noble hop bitterness. The brewing process for this beer developed in the mid 19th century when Gabriel Sedlmayr took pale ale brewing techniques back to the Spaten Brewery in Germany and applied it...

s that most consumers are familiar with fall in the range of 4–6%, with a typical abv of 5%. The customary strength of British ales is quite low, with many session beers being around 4% abv. Some beers, such as table beer are of such low alcohol content (1%–4%) that they are served instead of soft drink
Soft drink
A soft drink is a non-alcoholic beverage that typically contains water , a sweetener, and a flavoring agent...

s in some schools.

The alcohol in beer comes primarily from the metabolism of sugars that are produced during fermentation. The quantity of fermentable sugars in the wort and the variety of yeast used to ferment the wort are the primary factors that determine the amount of alcohol in the final beer. Additional fermentable sugars are sometimes added to increase alcohol content, and enzymes are often added to the wort for certain styles of beer (primarily "light" beers) to convert more complex carbohydrates (starches) to fermentable sugars. Alcohol is a by-product of yeast metabolism and is toxic to the yeast; typical brewing yeast cannot survive at alcohol concentrations above 12% by volume. Low temperatures and too little fermentation time decreases the effectiveness of yeasts and consequently decreases the alcohol content.

Exceptionally strong beers
The strength of beers has climbed during the later years of the 20th century. Vetter 33, a 10.5% abv (33 degrees Plato, hence Vetter "33") doppelbock, was listed in the 1994 Guinness Book of World Records
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records , is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world...

as the strongest beer at that time, though Samichlaus, by the Swiss brewer Hürlimann, had also been listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the strongest at 14% abv. Since then, some brewers have used champagne yeasts to increase the alcohol content of their beers. Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams (beer)
Samuel Adams is an American brand of beer brewed by the Boston Beer Company and its associated contract brewers. The company was founded in 1984 by Jim Koch, Harry M. Rubin, and Lorenzo Lamadrid in Boston, Massachusetts, USA...

 reached 20% abv with Millennium, and then surpassed that amount to 25.6% abv with Utopias. The strongest beer brewed in Britain was Baz's Super Brew by Parish Brewery, a 23% abv beer. In September 2011, the Scottish brewery BrewDog
BrewDog
BrewDog is a Scottish brewery located in the town of Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire.- History :BrewDog was founded in 2006 by friends James Watt and Martin Dickie. The brewery at the Kessock Industrial Estate in Fraserburgh produced its first brew in April 2007...

 produced Ghost Deer, which, at 28%, they claim to be the world's strongest beer produced by fermentation alone.

The product claimed to be the strongest beer made is The End of History, a 55% Belgian ale, made by BrewDog in 2010. The same company had previously made Sink The Bismarck!, a 41% abv IPA
India Pale Ale
India Pale Ale or IPA is a style of beer within the broader category of pale ale. It was first brewed in England in the 19th century.The first known use of the expression "India pale ale" comes from an advertisement in the Liverpool Mercury newspaper published January 30, 1835...

, and Tactical Nuclear Penguin, a 32% abv Imperial Stout. Each of these beers are made using the eisbock method of fractional freezing
Fractional freezing
Fractional freezing is a process used in process engineering and chemistry to separate two liquids with different melting points. It can be done by partial melting of a solid, for example in zone refining of silicon or metals, or by partial crystallization of a liquid, for example "freeze...

, in which a strong ale is partially frozen and the ice is repeatedly removed, until the desired strength is reached, a process that may class the product as spirits
Distilled beverage
A distilled beverage, liquor, or spirit is an alcoholic beverage containing ethanol that is produced by distilling ethanol produced by means of fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables...

 rather than beer. The German brewery Schorschbräu's Schorschbock, a 31% abv eisbock, and Hair of the Dog's Dave, a 29% abv barley wine
Barley wine
Barley wine or Barleywine is a beer style of strong ale originating in England. The first beer to be marketed as Barley Wine was Bass No. 1 Ale, around 1870...

 made in 1994, used the same fractional freezing method. A 60% abv blend of beer with whiskey
Beer cocktail
A beer cocktail is a cocktail that is made by mixing beer with a distilled beverage.In this type of cocktail, the primary ingredient is beer...

 was jokingly claimed as the strongest beer by a Dutch brewery
Brouwerij 't Koelschip
Brouwerij 't Koelschip , full name Ambachtelijke Bierbrouwerij en Distilleerderij 'T KOELSCHIP, is a Dutch Brewer, based in Almere, which made a joke claim to make the world's strongest beer when they made a 60% abv beer cocktail called Start the Future from a blend of beer and...

 in July 2010.

Draught




Draught beer from a pressurised keg
Keg
A keg is a small barrel.Traditionally, a wooden keg is made by a cooper used to transport items such as nails, gunpowder., and a variety of liquids....

 is the most common method of dispensing in bars around the world. A metal keg is pressurised with carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 (CO2) gas which drives the beer to the dispensing tap
Beer tap
A beer tap is a valve, specifically a tap, for controlling the release of beer. While in other contexts, depending on location, a "tap" may be a "faucet", "valve" or "spigot", the use of "tap" for beer is almost universal. This may be because the word was originally coined for the wooden valve in...

 or faucet. Some beers may be served with a nitrogen/carbon dioxide mixture. Nitrogen
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

 produces fine bubbles, resulting in a dense head
Beer head
Beer head is the frothy foam on top of liquid beer after it is poured in a glass. It is produced by bubbles of carbon dioxide rising to the surface....

 and a creamy mouthfeel
Mouthfeel
Mouthfeel is a product's physical and chemical interaction in the mouth, an aspect of food rheology. It is a concept used in many areas related to the testing and evaluating of foodstuffs, such as wine-tasting and rheology. It is evaluated from initial perception on the palate, to first bite,...

. Some types of beer can also be found in smaller, disposable kegs called beer balls.

In the 1980s, Guinness introduced the beer widget
Widget (beer)
A widget is a device placed in a container of beer to manage the characteristics of the beer's head. The original widget was patented in Ireland by Guinness. The "floating widget" is found in cans of beer as a hollow plastic sphere, 3 cm in diameter with a small hole in one side...

, a nitrogen-pressurised ball inside a can which creates a dense, tight head, similar to beer served from a nitrogen system. The words draft and draught can be used as marketing terms to describe canned or bottled
Beer bottle
A beer bottle is a bottle made to contain beer, usually made of glass.Bottled beer has been in use since as early as the 16th century. Beer bottles come in various sizes, shapes and colours....

 beers containing a beer widget, or which are cold-filtered rather than pasteurised.


Cask-conditioned ales (or cask ales) are unfiltered and unpasteurised beers. These beers are termed "real ale" by the CAMRA organisation. Typically, when a cask arrives in a pub, it is placed horizontally on a frame called a "stillage
Stillage
A stillage is like a pallet or skid but with a cage or sides or some form of support specifically tailored to the material it is intended to carry. Some are designed to be stackable....

" which is designed to hold it steady and at the right angle, and then allowed to cool to cellar temperature (typically between 11–13 °C (51.8–55.4 F)), before being tapped and vented—a tap is driven through a (usually rubber) bung at the bottom of one end, and a hard spile
Spile
A spile is a small wooden peg used to control the flow of air into, and carbon dioxide out of, a cask of ale.Cask ale is served without externally-supplied carbon dioxide or nitrogen...

 or other implement is used to open a hole in the side of the cask, which is now uppermost. The act of stillaging and then venting a beer in this manner typically disturbs all the sediment, so it must be left for a suitable period to "drop" (clear) again, as well as to fully condition—this period can take anywhere from several hours to several days. At this point the beer is ready to sell, either being pulled through a beer line with a hand pump, or simply being "gravity-fed" directly into the glass.

Draught beer's environmental impact can be 68% lower than bottled beer due to packaging differences. A life cycle study of one beer brand, including grain production, brewing, bottling, distribution and waste management, shows that the CO2 emissions from a 6-pack of micro-brew beer is about 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds). The loss of natural habitat potential from the 6-pack of micro-brew beer is estimated to be 2.5 square meters (26 square feet). Downstream emissions from distribution, retail, storage and disposal of waste can be over 45% of a bottled micro-brew beer's CO2 emissions. Where legal, the use of a refillable jug, reusable bottle or other reusable containers to transport draught beer from a store or a bar, rather than buying pre-bottled beer, can reduce the environmental impact of beer consumption.

Packaging



Most beers are cleared of yeast by filtering
Filtered beer
Bright beer is beer in which yeast is no longer in suspension. There are several methods used for clearing yeast from beer, from waiting for the yeast to drop of its own accord to filtering it.-Dropping bright:...

 when packaged in bottles and cans. However, bottle conditioned
Bottle conditioning
Bottle conditioned beers are either unfiltered so the final conditioning of the beer takes place in the bottle, or filtered and then reseeded with yeast so that an additional fermentation may take place.-Priming:...

 beers retain some yeast—either by being unfiltered, or by being filtered and then reseeded with fresh yeast. It is usually recommended that the beer be poured slowly, leaving any yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle. However, some drinkers prefer to pour in the yeast; this practice is customary with wheat beer
Wheat beer
Wheat beer is a beer that is brewed with a large proportion of wheat. Wheat beers often also contain a significant proportion of malted barley. Wheat beers are usually top-fermented...

s. Typically, when serving a hefeweizen, 90% of the contents are poured, and the remainder is swirled to suspend the sediment before pouring it into the glass. Alternatively, the bottle may be inverted prior to opening. Glass bottles are always used for bottle conditioned beers.

Many beers are sold in cans, though there is considerable variation in the proportion between different countries. In Sweden in 2001, 63.9% of beer was sold in cans. People either drink from the can or pour the beer into a glass. Cans protect the beer from light (thereby preventing "skunked" beer) and have a seal less prone to leaking over time than bottles. Cans were initially viewed as a technological breakthrough for maintaining the quality of a beer, then became commonly associated with less expensive, mass-produced beers, even though the quality of storage in cans is much like bottles. Plastic (PET
Polyethylene terephthalate
Polyethylene terephthalate , commonly abbreviated PET, PETE, or the obsolete PETP or PET-P, is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers; beverage, food and other liquid containers; thermoforming applications; and engineering resins often in combination...

) bottles are used by some breweries.

Temperature



The temperature
Temperature
Temperature is a physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold. Objects of low temperature are cold, while various degrees of higher temperatures are referred to as warm or hot...

 of a beer has an influence on a drinker's experience; warmer temperatures reveal the range of flavours in a beer but cooler temperatures are more refreshing. Most drinkers prefer pale lager
Pale lager
Pale lager is a very pale to golden-coloured beer with a well attenuated body and a varying degree of noble hop bitterness. The brewing process for this beer developed in the mid 19th century when Gabriel Sedlmayr took pale ale brewing techniques back to the Spaten Brewery in Germany and applied it...

 to be served chilled, a low- or medium-strength pale ale
Pale ale
Pale ale is a beer which uses a warm fermentation and predominantly pale malt. It is one of the world's major beer styles.The higher proportion of pale malts results in a lighter colour. The term "pale ale" was being applied around 1703 for beers made from malts dried with coke, which resulted in a...

 to be served cool, while a strong barley wine
Barley wine
Barley wine or Barleywine is a beer style of strong ale originating in England. The first beer to be marketed as Barley Wine was Bass No. 1 Ale, around 1870...

 or imperial stout to be served at room temperature.

Beer writer Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson (writer)
Michael Jackson was an English writer and journalist. He was the author of several influential books about beer and whisky.-Life:...

 proposed a five-level scale for serving temperatures: well chilled (7 °C (44.6 °F)) for "light" beers (pale lagers); chilled (8 °C (46.4 °F)) for Berliner Weisse
Berliner Weisse
Berliner Weisse is a cloudy, sour wheat beer of around 3% abv. It is a regional beer from Northern Germany, mainly Berlin, dating back to the 16th century. By the 19th century, Berliner Weisse was the most popular alcoholic drink in Berlin, and 700 breweries produced it...

 and other wheat beers; lightly chilled (9 °C (48.2 °F)) for all dark lagers, altbier
Altbier
Altbier is a German top-fermenting beer brewed in Düsseldorf and other parts of North Rhine-Westphalia.The name Altbier, which means old beer, refers to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast...

 and German wheat beers; cellar temperature (13 °C (55.4 °F)) for regular British ale
Ale
Ale is a type of beer brewed from malted barley using a warm fermentation with a strain of brewers' yeast. The yeast will ferment the beer quickly, giving it a sweet, full bodied and fruity taste...

, stout
Stout
Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or barley, hops, water and yeast. Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters, typically 7% or 8%, produced by a brewery....

 and most Belgian specialities
Belgian beer
Beer in Belgium varies from pale lager to lambic beer and Flemish red. There are approximately 178 breweries in the country, ranging from international giants to microbreweries..-History:...

; and room temperature (15.5 °C (59.9 °F)) for strong dark ales (especially trappist beer
Trappist beer
A Trappist beer is a beer brewed by or under control of Trappist monks. There are a total of 174 Trappist monasteries worldwide ; only seven produce Trappist beer and are authorized to label their beers with the Authentic Trappist Product logo that indicates a compliance to the various rules of...

) and barley wine
Barley wine
Barley wine or Barleywine is a beer style of strong ale originating in England. The first beer to be marketed as Barley Wine was Bass No. 1 Ale, around 1870...

.

Drinking chilled beer began with the development of artificial refrigeration
Refrigeration
Refrigeration is a process in which work is done to move heat from one location to another. This work is traditionally done by mechanical work, but can also be done by magnetism, laser or other means...

 and by the 1870s, was spread in those countries that concentrated on brewing pale lager. Chilling beer makes it more refreshing, though below 15.5 °C (59.9 °F) the chilling starts to reduce taste awareness and reduces it significantly below 10 °C (50 °F). Beer served unchilled—either cool or at room temperature, reveal more of their flavours. Cask Marque, a non-profit UK beer organisation, has set a temperature standard range of 12°-14 °C (53°-57 °F) for cask ales to be served.

Vessels



Beer is consumed out of a variety of vessels, such as a glass, a beer stein
Beer stein
Beer stein , or simply stein, is an English neologism for either traditional beer mugs made out of stoneware, or specifically ornamental beer mugs that are usually sold as souvenirs or collectibles...

, a mug, a pewter
Pewter
Pewter is a malleable metal alloy, traditionally 85–99% tin, with the remainder consisting of copper, antimony, bismuth and lead. Copper and antimony act as hardeners while lead is common in the lower grades of pewter, which have a bluish tint. It has a low melting point, around 170–230 °C ,...

 tankard
Tankard
A tankard is a form of drinkware consisting of a large, roughly cylindrical, drinking cup with a single handle. Tankards are usually made of silver, pewter, or glass, but can be made of other materials, for example wood, ceramic or leather. A tankard may have a hinged lid, and tankards featuring...

, a beer bottle or a can. The shape of the glass from which beer is consumed can influence the perception of the beer and can define and accent the character of the style. Breweries offer brand
Brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

ed glassware intended only for their own beers as a marketing promotion, as this increases sales.

The pouring process has an influence on a beer's presentation. The rate of flow from the tap
Beer tap
A beer tap is a valve, specifically a tap, for controlling the release of beer. While in other contexts, depending on location, a "tap" may be a "faucet", "valve" or "spigot", the use of "tap" for beer is almost universal. This may be because the word was originally coined for the wooden valve in...

 or other serving vessel, tilt of the glass, and position of the pour (in the centre or down the side) into the glass all influence the end result, such as the size and longevity of the head, lacing (the pattern left by the head as it moves down the glass as the beer is drunk), and turbulence
Turbulence
In fluid dynamics, turbulence or turbulent flow is a flow regime characterized by chaotic and stochastic property changes. This includes low momentum diffusion, high momentum convection, and rapid variation of pressure and velocity in space and time...

 of the beer and its release of carbonation
Carbonation
Carbonation is the process of dissolving carbon dioxide in water. The process usually involves carbon dioxide under high pressure. When the pressure is reduced, the carbon dioxide is released from the solution as small bubbles, which cause the solution to "fizz." This effect is seen in carbonated...

.

Beer and society



In most societies, beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage.

Various social traditions and activities are associated with beer drinking, such as playing cards, darts, or other pub games; attending beer festival
Beer festival
A Beer Festival is an organised event during which a variety of beers are available for tasting and purchase. Beer festivals are held in a number of countries...

s; visiting a series of pubs
Pub crawl
A pub crawl is the act of one or more people drinking in multiple pubs or bars in a single night, normally walking or busing to each one between drinking.-Origin of the term:...

 in one evening; joining an organisation such as CAMRA; visiting breweries; beer-oriented tourism; or rating beer. Drinking game
Drinking game
Drinking games are games which involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages. These games vary widely in scope and complexity, although the purpose of most is to become intoxicated as quickly as possible...

s, such as beer pong
Beer pong
Beer pong, also known as Beirut, is a drinking game in which players throw a ping pong ball across a table with the intent of landing the ball in a cup of beer on the other end. The game typically consists of two two-to-four-player teams and multiple cups set up, in triangle formation, on each side...

, are also popular. A relatively new profession is that of the beer sommelier
Beer sommelier
A beer sommelier, is a professional who works in the alcoholic beverage industry specializing in the service and knowledge of beer. This knowledge includes an understanding of styles, brewing, ingredients, history of beer and brewing, glassware, draught systems and food pairings...

, who informs restaurant patrons about beers and food pairings.

Beer is considered to be a social lubricant in many societies and is consumed in countries all over the world. There are breweries in Middle Eastern countries such as Iran
Beer in Iran
Beer in Iran has had a long history. The earliest known chemical evidence of beer dates to circa 3500–3100 BC from the site of Godin Tepe in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran, and there is evidence of beer-drinking over a long period in the Persian empire...

 and Syria, and in African countries. Sales of beer are four times those of wine, which is the second most popular alcoholic beverage.

Health effects


The main active ingredient of beer is alcohol, and therefore, the health effects of alcohol apply to beer. The moderate consumption of alcohol, including beer, is associated with a decreased risk of cardiac disease, stroke and cognitive decline. The long term health effects
Long-term effects of alcohol
The long term effects of alcohol range from possible health benefits for low levels of alcohol consumption to severe detrimental effects in cases of chronic alcohol abuse...

 of continuous, heavy alcohol consumption can, however, include the risk of developing alcoholism and alcoholic liver disease
Alcoholic liver disease
Alcoholic liver disease is a term that encompasses the hepatic manifestations of alcohol overconsumption, including fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and chronic hepatitis with hepatic fibrosis or cirrhosis. It is the major cause of liver disease in Western countries...

.
Brewer's yeast is known to be a rich source of nutrients; therefore, as expected, beer can contain significant amounts of nutrients, including magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

, selenium
Selenium
Selenium is a chemical element with atomic number 34, chemical symbol Se, and an atomic mass of 78.96. It is a nonmetal, whose properties are intermediate between those of adjacent chalcogen elements sulfur and tellurium...

, potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

, phosphorus
Phosphorus
Phosphorus is the chemical element that has the symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent nonmetal of the nitrogen group, phosphorus as a mineral is almost always present in its maximally oxidized state, as inorganic phosphate rocks...

, biotin
Biotin
Biotin, also known as Vitamin H or Coenzyme R, is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin discovered by Bateman in 1916. It is composed of a ureido ring fused with a tetrahydrothiophene ring. A valeric acid substituent is attached to one of the carbon atoms of the tetrahydrothiophene ring...

, chromium
Chromium
Chromium is a chemical element which has the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is the first element in Group 6. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and malleable...

 and B vitamins
B vitamins
B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism. The B vitamins were once thought to be a single vitamin, referred to as vitamin B . Later research showed that they are chemically distinct vitamins that often coexist in the same foods...

. In fact, beer is sometimes referred to as "liquid bread".
Some sources maintain that filtered beer loses much of its nutrition.

A 2005 Japanese study found that low alcohol beer
Low alcohol beer
Low-alcohol beer is beer with very low or no alcohol content...

 may possess strong anti-cancer properties. Another study found nonalcoholic beer to mirror the cardiovascular benefits associated with moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages. However, much research suggests that the primary health benefit from alcoholic beverages comes from the alcohol they contain.

It is considered that overeating and lack of muscle tone is the main cause of a beer belly, rather than beer consumption. A recent study, however, found a link between binge drinking
Binge drinking
Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking is the modern epithet for drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. It is a kind of purposeful drinking style that is popular in several countries worldwide,...

 and a beer belly. But with most overconsumption, it is more a problem of improper exercise and overconsumption of carbohydrates than the product itself. Several diet books quote beer as having an undesirably high glycemic index
Glycemic index
The glycemic index, glycaemic index, or GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more...

 of 110, the same as maltose
Maltose
Maltose , or malt sugar, is a disaccharide formed from two units of glucose joined with an αbond, formed from a condensation reaction. The isomer "isomaltose" has two glucose molecules linked through an α bond. Maltose is the second member of an important biochemical series of glucose chains....

; however, the maltose in beer undergoes metabolism
Metabolism
Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in the cells of living organisms to sustain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. Metabolism is usually divided into two categories...

 by yeast during fermentation so that beer consists mostly of water, hop oils and only trace amounts of sugars, including maltose.

Nutritional information


1can of beer (356ml) contains:
  • Calories :153
  • Fat(g): 0
  • Carbohydrates(g): 12.64
  • Fibers(g): 0
  • Protein(g): 1.64
  • Cholesterol(mg): 0


Related beverages



Around the world, there are a number of traditional and ancient starch-based beverages classed as beer. In Africa, there are various ethnic beers made from sorghum
Sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

 or millet
Millet
The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult...

, such as Oshikundu
Oshikundu
Oshikundu or Ontaku is a traditional Namibian drink made from fermented millet . Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties exist. It is made by women from cereal. It is often drunk the same day...

 in Namibia and Tella
Tella
-External links:*Ethnomed *...

 in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

. Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

 also has a beer made from millet; it is a low alcohol, somewhat porridge-like drink called "Bozo". Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

, Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 and Sikkim
Sikkim
Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state nestled in the Himalayan mountains...

 also use millet in Chhaang
Chhaang
Chhaang or chang is a Tibetan/Sherpa/Limbu/Newari alcoholic beverage also popular in parts of eastern Himalayas.-Geographical prevalence:...

, a popular semi-fermented rice/millet drink in the eastern Himalayas. Further east in China are found Huangjiu
Huangjiu
Huangjiu is a type of Chinese beverage brewed directly from grains such as rice, millet, or wheat. Unlike baijiu, such liquors are not distilled, and contain less than 20% alcohol, due to the inhibition of fermentation by ethanol at that concentration...

 and Choujiu
Choujiu
Choujiu is a type of Chinese fermented alcoholic beverage brewed from glutinous rice. It is very thick and has a milky white color, which is sometimes compared to jade....

—traditional rice-based beverages related to beer.

The Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 in South America has Chicha
Chicha
For the musical genre, see Peruvian cumbiaChicha is a term used in some regions of Latin America for several varieties of fermented and non-fermented beverages, rather often to those derived from maize and similar non-alcoholic beverages...

, made from germinated maize (corn); while the indigenous peoples in Brazil
Indigenous peoples in Brazil
The Indigenous peoples in Brazil comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500...

 have Cauim
Cauim
Cauim is a traditional alcoholic beverage or beer of the indigenous peoples in Brazil since pre-Columbian times. It is still made today in remote areas throughout Panama and South America. Cauim is made by fermenting manioc , or maize, sometimes flavored with fruit juices...

, a traditional beverage made since pre-Columbian times by chewing manioc so that enzymes present in human saliva can break down the starch into fermentable sugars; this is similar to Masato in Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

.

Some beers which are made from bread, which is linked to the earliest forms of beer, are Sahti
Sahti
Sahti is a traditional beer from Finland made from a variety of grains, malted and unmalted, including barley, rye, wheat, and oats; sometimes bread made from these grains is fermented instead of malt itself...

 in Finland, Kvass
Kvass
Kvass, kvas, quass or gira, gėra is a fermented beverage made from black...

 in Russia and Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, and Bouza
Bouza
Bouza is a town in southwestern Niger. A town of eight thousand, it is the administrative center of Bouza Department, part of Tahoua Region.-Culture and situation:...

 in Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

.