Beer is the world's most widely consumed alcoholic beverage; it is the third-most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is thought by some to be the oldest fermented beverage. Beer is produced by the saccharification of starch and fermentation of the resulting sugar. The starch and saccharification enzymes are often derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat. Unmalted maize and rice are widely used adjuncts to lighten the flavour because of their lower cost. The preparation of beer is called brewing. Most beer is flavoured with hops, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative, 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 included laws regulating beer and beer parlours, and "The Hymn to Ninkasi", 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 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) although it may vary between 0.5% (de-alcoholized) and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% abv and above in recent years.
Beer forms part of the culture of beer-drinking nations and is associated with social traditions such as beer festivals, as well as a rich pub culture involving activities like pub crawling and pub games such as bar billiards.
Other articles related to "beer, beers":
... William George Aston (1841–1911) died in Beer ... Richard Gush (1789–1858) was born in Beer ... Rowland Molony (born 1946) lives in Beer ...
... These are only some of beers that have been brewed at the Clybourn microbrewery ... Every Thursday the brewpub premieres a new beer to be served exclusively at their pub or at the Wrigleyville brewpub ... Willie's Small Beer, Bourbon County Coffee Stout, Fulton Wood, Honest Stout, Willow Street White Ale, John the Younger, Lake-Effect Lager, La Deuxieme, Demolition 1800, Dead Goat Porter, Lincoln Park ...
... They also operate (in most, but not all cases) what is known as a beer-tie ... This means that tenants renting public houses from them are under contract to buy beer, ciders, RTD's and other alcoholic drinks from Enterprise Inns only ... soft drinks, wines and spirits from Enterprise, although this is not as widespread as the beer tie ...
... Association was adopted the previous name was the Lager-Beer Brewers Association ... help fund the Spanish-American War, Congress finally raised the tax on beer by $1 a barrel once again, a lobbying campaign was successful, and in 1902 the increase was abolished ... The brewers were optimistic that beer was becoming the national drink and that "morality follows in the wake of malt liquors." The brewers supported the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, and at the 1908 Convention ...
... Beer Day is the term applied to an event where a US Navy or Military Sealift Command vessel's personnel are issued and authorized to consume beer ...
Famous quotes containing the word beer:
“Were I Diogenes, I would not move out of a kilderkin into a hogshead, though the first had had nothing but small beer in it, and the second reeked claret.”
—Charles Lamb (17751834)
“What two ideas are more inseparable than beer and Britannia?”
—Sydney Smith (17711845)
“Time grows dim. Time that was so long
grows short, time, all goggle-eyed,
wiggling her skirts, singing her torch song,
giving the boys a buzz and a ride,
that Nazi Mama with her beer and sauerkraut.
Time, old gal of mine, will soon dim out.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)