Beer is one of the world’s most popular adult beverages brewed and consumed on every continent and hundreds of nations. It is universal in appeal being served in the finest restaurants, sporting events, and neighborhood street fairs. Beer is primarily enjoyed cool or cold while some styles are best served at “cellar” temperature (about 10° F warmer than the typical refrigerator). Beer is made in hundreds of unique styles ranging from dark to light, strong to weak, and simple to complex.
Beer is one of the world’s oldest alcohol beverages (although not as old as wine which most likely was discovered accidentally). Unlike wine, Beer has to be coaxed by man as its primary ingredient, grains, must be altered by heat and water to convert the abundant starches to fermentable sugars. The brewing of beer dates back to at least the 8th millennium BC at the beginnings of agriculture. The first beers are believed to have been produced by first creating very dense bread composed of cracked grains baked in crude ovens. This bread would be broken up and added to boiling water then cooled. This cool liquid was naturally affected by ambient airborne yeasts that transformed the sweet liquid to beer.
In its purest form Beer is made with a simple recipe of water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. Beers made by the Babylonians and Egyptians do not differ greatly from beers made by craft brewers today.