There are literally hundreds of different styles of beers produced worldwide, ranging from light to dark, smooth to bitter, and characteristics whose range is only limited to the imagination. Its pretty amazing that the majority of all beer styles contain only 4 basic ingredients.
Malted Barley – a member of the grass family, barley is closely related to wheat. The malting process causes the kernels to begin to germinate, which creates the starch that is later converted into sugar during the brewing process.
Water – usually about 95 percent of beer, water is used to extract the color, flavor and sugar from the malted barley. water supplies usually dictate the style of beer from a certain region. An example is the hard water from Ireland enhances the color of their famous stouts.
Hops – the green buds from the hop vine give the beer its bitterness and floral aromas. It’s the bitterness of the hops that balances out the malty sweetness from the barley.
Yeast – the agent that combines with the sugar to create alcohol and carbon dioxide in beer brew. Yeast can have a significant role in the aroma, flavor and body of beer. An example of this is the German style hefeweizens.
There are many other ways to flavor beers, but these four are you basic beer ingredients. Let us now what flavors or style you enjoy and all recommendations are welcome.