Beer is one of the world’s oldest beverages, and remains a firm favourite with a staggering 133 billion litres sold annually. Beer is ingrained in the culture of many western countries, where regular festivals are held dedicated to the drinking of beer. For instance in Germany, during the annual ‘Oktoberfest’, only beer manufactured within the city limits of Munich is allowed to be consumed. Similar holidays are also held in Belgium, the Czech Republic and Great Britain.
Barley malt has been used for generations as the basis of beer, its earliest use dates back to 9500 BC in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, America and Ancient Iran. The basic brewing process has not changed since then and the main recipe remains the same – malted barley, brewer’s yeast, hops and clean water. However, due to the gradual progress in technology and science, the quality, drinkability and shelf life of beer has significantly improved.
The brewing process begins with mixing malt and hot water which is then mashed and further heated. The amount of malt used generally determines the flavouring and strength of beer. Use of darker malt will of course result in darker beer. Darker beers are made from pale malt with a small quantity of darker malt added for coloration. If you roast the malt longer, the beer is likely to have a darker shade.
Hops are then added during the boiling process which adds flavour, controls bitterness and increases shelf life. After that, the resulting mixture is cooled and yeast is added to begin the process of fermentation which may take months. When the fermentation is complete, the yeast settles leaving clear, refreshing beer.
The amount of malt used generally determines the flavouring and strength of beer. Use of darker malt will of course result in darker beer. Darker beers are made from pale malt with a small quantity of darker malt added for coloration. If you roast the malt longer, the beer is likely to have a darker shade. Sometimes, when a longer shelf life is required for the beer, a secondary fermentation process is also used.
Beer is classified by its colour, bitterness and strength. Beer is also classified according the manufacturing technique used, varieties of beer and their distinct brewing processes are outlined below:
Ale: This beer is brewed by a secondary fermentation and carbon dioxide is added to give a slight fizz and head to the finished product, (the white foam layer on top of your beer). Pale ale uses a top fermenting yeast and a pale malt, and is less bitter than darker ales.
Lager Beer: Lager beer is classically much lighter; the difference being that during the brewing process lager yeast is responsible for fermentation. Pale lager is the most common beer in the world. Remember that good quality lager should have a clean and refreshing taste.
Lambic beer: Lambic beer is a Belgian beer. It is prepared by using wild yeasts and natural fermentation. Lambic beer may differ in aroma and sourness dependant on the brewing process.
Pilsener: A type of pale lager prepared by a method of local fermentation. Pilsener was originally prepared in 1842 in the Czech city of Plzen.
Wheat Beer: Wheat beer is brewed with a large quantity of wheat and comparatively a lesser amount of malted barley. It is usually top fermented. The varieties are Weissbier, Witbier, and sour varieties such as Lambic and Gose.
Bock: Bock is a German beer made from barley which is much more mature. It is a strong lager and is a light copper or golden in colour. The taste is rich and comparatively sweet.
Smoked Beer: This beer is also of German origin. It has a smoked flavour because of the use of dried out malted barley.
WineStyle offers a huge variety of beer from all around the world: Czech beer, German beer, Belgian beer and other; we also offer a wide array of other alcoholic drinks. You can buy beer online in both quantity and quality! The price of beer in our shop begins at 5 pounds.