What is beer?
Let’s start at the beginning. There is an alcoholic beverage produced by extracting sugar from green, then fermenting the sugar to make alcohol. It’s one of the worlds oldest and most popular drinks, and comes in and enormous range of flavours and colours.
What is it made from?
How do you make beer? With for simple ingredients that unlock a world of possibilities.
Hops | Grain | Yeast | Water
Yep, that’s all you need. With not a single ingredient wasted, the recipe is a testament to simplicity and the ease with which its made is part of the reason why it remains such a popular drink.
A RUNDOWN OF THE INGREDIENTS.
Grain, usually barley, is mixed with water and allowed to germinate. This process, called malting, transfers the grain into malt. This malt is the base for the alcohol to form, it is also responsible for much of a beer’s sweetness.
Every beer starts with good water. And since it makes up 90% of the finished brew, it’s important the Brewers H2O choice is spot on.
Hops, which are technically a flower, were originally used as a preservative. But today they’re included during brewing to add flavouring, aroma and bitterness to a beer.
Yeast is the magical ingredient in a beer. While it doesn’t add a whole lot of flavour, it does extract sugars from the malt, then turns them into alcohol.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF BEER
Beer is first brewed with barley by the ancient Sumerians and Mesopotamians. They call it a divine drink.
Ancient Syrians produce a range of beers recorded in the Ebla tablets.
Ancient Egyptians were also keen on beer, remains of their malt has been found in the tubes of pharaohs, probably put there to give them sustenance in the afterlife.
The Middle Ages
A huge amount of beer is brewed in monasteries. In some places, monks are allowed to drink up to 5 litres a day.
The first recorded use of hops in beer. Before hops, beer was made better with bog myrtle, St John’s wort and elderberries.
Bavarian Duke, William IV, enacts the purity law Rein, which stated the only allowed ingredients of beer were water, hops and barely. Yeast came later.
An ex-convict named James Larra opens Australia’s first pub, the Mason Arms, in Parramatta. The same year, John Boston brews our nation’s first beer in Sydney.
Refrigeration revolutionises the brewing industry, and leads to the proliferation of lager.
Golden ale is invented by British brewers in an attempt to turn drinkers off lager and onto ale.
The style of ‘dry’ beer was invented in Japan, leading to imitations being created all around the globe, such as Tooheys Extra Dry.