Beer Basics

Learn the basics of beer. This informative section covers a wide range of articles about brewing, history and includes topics such as:

History of Beer

Brewing beer dates back many thousands of years to ancient Babylon, Egypt and Mesopotamia. . . .

Food Pairings

When suitably paired, delicious beers and incredible food really bring out the best in one another. . . .

Glassology

Beer glasses come in a variety of shapes and sizes that complement different styles of beer. . . .

Brewing Process

There are steps and science necessary to brewing malt, hops, yeast and water into beer. . . .

How to Pour Beer

There is both an art and a science in pouring a beer to allows a beer to show all of its characteristics. . . .

Tasting & Judging

Beer judging is a learned set of skills; analysis of aroma, appearance, flavor and mouthfeel. . . .

Cheese Pairing

Beer and cheese pairings are endless, this guide will help you mix and match the two. . . .

Aroma, Taste, & Flavors

The beer we taste also has an aroma or flavor that helps influence how we perceive it. . . .

5863Unique Beers Tasted
185Styles Tried
145Breweries Toured
66Countries Sampled

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INGREDIENTS
Traditionally and according to the Reinheitsgebot, beer is typically brewed from four essential ingredients, Malts; Hops; Water; Yeast. Find out what other ingredients some brewers incorporate into the beers you drink?
Malt

The oldest and most predominant ingredient in brewing is barley....

Hops

Hop plants, Humulus lupulus, are climbing perennial vines....

Water

Makes up 90-95% of beer ingredients by weight....

Yeast

Yeast is the microorganism responsible for fermentation in beer....

Adjuncts

Adjuncts are alternative sources of fermentable sugar that take the place of malted barley...

Additives

Most beers today are essentially additive-free, although modern chemistry does sometimes end up being used in the brewhouse....

Fruits & Flavoring

While almost any flavor can be produced in extract form, fruits are the most commonly used extracts in brewing...

Herbs

Done properly, brewing with herbs and spices can transform a good beer into something truly special...

Spices

From anise to wattleseeds, spices offer a variety of ways to turn an ordinary beer into something unique and interesting...

Sugars & Syrups

Quality sugar in appropriate quantities can make certain beer styles really shine...

Honey

A sweet and viscous fluid produced by bees and other insects from the nectar of flowers that can be used in the same flavoring applications as other syrups..

Other Ingredients

Other Ingredients include, Nuts & Seeds, Mushrooms, and Peppers or Chile Peppers

Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill
Make sure that the beer - four pints a week - goes to the troops under fire before any of the parties in the rear get a drop.
Prime Minister, United Kingdom (1940 to 1945) and (1951 to 1955)
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Let a man walk ten miles steadily on a hot summer’s day along a dusty English road, and he will soon discover why beer was invented.
Author, 1874 – 1936
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Beer, if drunk in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.
3rd U.S. President
Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!
Professor of Theology
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.
16th U.S. President
Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
Give my people plenty of beer, good beer and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution.
Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 to 1901
Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
You can’t be 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.
Musician
John Churchill
John Churchill
No soldier can fight unless he is properly fed on beef and beer.
1st Duke of Marlborough (1650–1722)
Frederick the Great
Frederick the Great
Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer.
King of Prussia
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
The best beer is where priests go to drink. For a quart of Ale is a dish for a King.
Poet, playwright, & actor
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)
Napoleon Bonaparte
On victory, you deserve beer, in defeat, you need it.
French military leader and Emperor

Beer Styles

Ale Styles

Ale yeast strains tend to ferment at warmer temperatures (59°- 69°F), resulting in a shorter fermentation and aging. Ale yeasts can produce esters—aroma and flavor compounds—during fermentation, which often impart the fruity and sometimes spicy characteristics for which ales are generally known.

Lager Styles

Lager yeast strains ferment at cooler temperatures (45° – 60°F) for a longer fermentation and aging process. Cooler temperatures stifle ester production and thus impart lager’s cleaner, smoother characteristics.

Hybrid/Mixed Ales or Lagers

Though the many major style categories establish a framework in which many beers fit, the beer world includes other distinct styles, flavors and aromas that often depart from traditional brews and carve out their own niche—and they’re just as fun to explore.

Cider & Perry

Cider is typically made from the fermented juice of apples, although the legal definition for other fruit ciders can differ from country to country as well as the name – Cider, Cidre, Sidra, Apfelwein, and Ice Wine, are just some. Perry is made from fermented pears, similar to the way cider is made from apples.

Mead

Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, spices, grains, or hops. The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage’s fermentable sugar is derived from honey.

 

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