Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed
alcoholic drinks in the world, and the third most popular drink overall after
tea. Beer is
cereal grains—most commonly from
oats are also used. During the brewing process,
fermentation of the
sugars in the
carbonation in the resulting beer. Most modern beer is brewed with
hops, which add bitterness and other flavours and act as a natural
stabilizing agent. Other flavouring agents such as
gruit, herbs, or fruits may be included or used instead of hops. In commercial brewing, the natural
carbonation effect is often removed during processing and replaced with forced carbonation.
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.
Beer is distributed in bottles and cans and is also commonly available on
draught, particularly in pubs and bars. The brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant
multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from
regional breweries. The strength of modern beer is usually around 4% to 6%
alcohol by volume (ABV), although it may vary between 0.5% and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% ABV and above.
Beer forms part of the culture of many nations and is associated with social traditions such as
beer festivals, as well as a rich
pub culture involving activities like
pub quizzes and
When beer is distilled, the resulting liquor is a form of
Selected article -
Steam beer may be defined as a highly effervescent beer made by brewing lager yeasts at ale fermentation temperatures. It has two distinct but related meanings:
- Historic steam beer, by all accounts bad-tasting, produced in California from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s;
- Modern California Common beer, the official name for the beer family which includes Anchor Steam® beer.
Historic steam beer, associated with
San Francisco and the
U. S. West Coast, was brewed with
lager yeast without the use of
refrigeration. It was an improvised process, originating out of necessity, perhaps as early as the
Gold Rush. It was considered a cheap and low-quality beer, as shown by references to it in literature of the 1890s and 1900s.
Modern steam beer, properly known in the brewing community as California Common beer, was originated by
Anchor Brewing Company, which trademarked the name Anchor Steam® Beer in 1981. Although the modern company has corporate continuity with a small brewery which was still making traditional steam beer in the 1950s, Anchor Steam beer is a craft-brewed lager. The company does not claim any close similarity between it and turn-of-the-century steam beer.
Explanations of the word "steam" are all speculative. The carbon dioxide pressure produced by the process was very high, and one possibility is that it was necessary to let off "steam" before attempting to dispense the beer. According to the
Anchor Brewing Company, the name "steam" came from the fact that the brewery had no way to effectively chill the boiling wort using traditional means. So they pumped the hot wort up to large, shallow, open-top bins on the roof of the brewery so that it would be rapidly chilled by the cool air blowing in off the
Pacific Ocean. Thus while brewing, the brewery had a distinct cloud of steam around the roof let off by the wort as it cooled, hence the name. (
Selected beer -
Produced by Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas, S.A.
Sagres beers are brewed by the SCC - Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas, S.A. and were introduced at the 1940 “Exposição do Mundo Português” (Portuguese World Exhibition). More commonly known as
Central de Cervejas ('Beers Central'), the SCC - Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas, S.A. is owned by
Sagres is the name of the south-westernmost tip of Portugal, and Sagres is considered the "Lisbon beer", as opposed to the Porto-based
Super Bock, which is more popular in the north of Portugal, and
Coral, which is more popular in
Madeira. Sagres is the most selling brand in Portugal. (
Selected biography -
Jackson at the 2004 Helsinki Beer Festival
Michael James Jackson (27 March 1942 – 30 August 2007) was an English writer and journalist. He was the author of many influential books about
whisky. He was a regular contributor to a number of British
The Independent and
Jackson's books have sold over three million copies worldwide and have been translated into eighteen languages. He is credited with helping to start a renaissance of interest in beer and breweries worldwide in the 1970s, particularly in the United States. He is also widely credited with popularising the idea of
. His influential television series The Beer Hunter
was shown in fifteen countries. (
Selected quote -
||Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
Selected brewery -
A selection of Shiner beer varieties
began in 1909 in
as the Shiner Brewing Association, and is the oldest independent brewery in Texas. In 1914 a German immigrant brewer named Kosmos Spoetzl co-leased the association with Oswald Petzold with an option to buy in 1915. Spoetzl's beer proved popular with the large German and Czech immigrant population in the Texas
. During prohibition, the brewery stayed afloat by selling ice and "near beer," allowing it to remain in business while many other breweries failed.
The brewery, now the fourth-largest craft brewery in the United States, produces beers under the name "Shiner." The flagship and most popular beer is "Shiner Bock", a dark German lager which comprises about three quarters of the brewery's production. Shiner has gained a loyal following in America and especially in central Texas, possibly due in part to the fact that the Spoetzl Brewery often donates several kegs of the beer for free consumption at many popular events in the Texas Hill Country, including San Antonio and Austin. The brewery has a prominent tent at and is a sponsor of Austin's yearly Texas Craft Brewers Festival. (
Selected image -
Credit: Atelier Joly (
Loopzilla) 24 January 2005
, with a statement of "Shepherd Neame" being "Britain's oldest brewery".
The following are images from various beer- and brewing-related articles on Wikipedia.
Sumerian city of
Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq). (from
The Alulu beer receipt records a purchase of "best" beer from a brewer, c. 2050 BC from the
A 16th-century brewery (from
Modern closed fermentation vessels (from
Spent grain, a brewing by-product (from
Brew kettles at Brasserie La Choulette in France (from
Cask ales at a beer festival, with gravity dispense (from
Yeast ring used by Swedish homebrewers in the 19th century to preserve the yeast between brewing sessions. (from
History of beer)
Open vessels showing fermentation taking place (from