Basic Beer Ingredients

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.rye porter

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.

4 thoughts on “Basic Beer Ingredients

  1. Farhan Reply

    Wow really didn’t know that most beer are made up of only four main ingredients. But I’m sure the process of beer brewing is not as simple as it seems.

    Is it possible to brew your own beer at home? I’m guessing that some of the ingredients mentioned are expensive and very hard to find. Or am I wrong?

    Great article!

  2. Tony Post authorReply

    Plenty of home brewing sites online that offer everything needed. From the yeast to the malt, you just decide what style you want to make and a whole kit is available to you. You will need to buy bottles and caps and a tool that puts the caps on. You can have your own brew in about 3 – 4 weeks later

  3. Chris Reply


    Great Article

    I am only really a beer drinker on the weekends but some of my favourites are wheat beers.

    I didn’t actually know that most beers contain only 4 basic ingredients but this is a good eye opener.

    One of my favourites is Redback Wheat Beer which is brewed in Melbourne Australia.


    • Tony Post authorReply

      Thank you for your visit to the site and your comment. I will be on the lookout for Redback here in the states. Brewed by Matilda Brewing Company it is dubbed Australia’s first craft beer.

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