|All About Beer|
"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."
Beer is the world's oldest and most popular alcoholic beverage. It is produced by the fermentation of sugars derived from starch-based material of which the most common being malted barley; however, wheat, corn, and rice are also widely used, usually in conjunction with the barley. Less widely used starch sources include millet, sorghum and cassava root in Africa, potato in Brazil, and agave in Mexico, among others.
The starch source is steeped in water producing a sweet sugary byproduct called wort (pronounced wert) which is then flavored with herbs, fruit or most commonly hops. Yeast is then used to cause fermentation, which produces alcohol and other waste products from anaerobic respiration of the sugars. The process of beer production is called brewing.
Beer uses many varying ingredients, production methods and traditions. The type of yeast and production method may be used to classify beer into ale, lager and spontaneously fermented beers. Some beer writers and organizations differentiate and categorize beers by various factors into beer styles. Alcoholic beverages fermented from non starch sources such as grape juice (wine) or honey (mead), and distilled beverages are not classified as beer.
Truly, there can be no greater calling than the quest for knowledge, especially when you are questing for knowledge about beer. Follow the links in the All About Beer menu to the left to read and learn all about beer.