Beer is the world's most widely consumed and probably oldest alcoholic beverage, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea.


Translations: Alus, Alus, Bere, Pivo, Bia, Piwo, Bier, बियर, Cerveja, Пиво, Μπύρα, جعة, 맥주, Pivo, Bir, Serbesa, 啤酒, Cervesa, Pivo, Pivo, Birra, בירה, Öl, Пиво, ビール, Bière, Bier, Øl, Øl, Cerveza, Пиво, Olut, Бира

Physical Description

Colors: Golden brown with gradient of yellow.

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: For about 8000 years, beer has been an important, nourishing beverage. Beer was traditionally brewed as a "liquid bread", and as such has been an important source of calories and nutrients. Beer contains vitamins, minerals, and healthy plant constituents, such as phytochemical antioxidants. But not all beers are created equal. The specific brewing process that is used, as well as the types of ingredients that a beer is made from, help to determine the wholesomeness of a beer.

Step 1:
Go to a store that sells a variety of imported and microbrewed ales and lagers.

Step 2:
Determine which beers are bottle-conditioned. Bottle-conditioned beers contain living yeast, and have a layer of yeast sediment on the bottom of the bottle, which can be seen when the bottle is viewed from the bottom. Living yeast will actively keep beer fresh by eliminating unwanted compounds, consuming harmful oxygen, and producing carbon dioxide. Yeast also absorbs and consumes the healthy antioxidant plant constituents that are derived from barley and hops. If the yeast is removed from the beer, much of the healthy constituents may be removed. Yeast also provides B vitamins, which are removed from your body when alcohol is metabolized. Some people may find beer yeast to be unpalatable. If so, step #3 is important.

Step 3:
Determine which beers are dark or, if light in color, which ones are hazy. Dark beers use dark barley malt that enables the healthy hop constituents to remain in solution. Dark beers that have been filtered and have not been bottle conditioned will still provide plentiful quantities of antioxidants, perhaps more so than unfiltered, bottle-conditioned light-colored beers. Filtered, light-colored beers do also provide readily absorbed antioxidants, but may be lacking in certain antioxidants. British stouts and porters use relatively large quantities of dark malt. Haze or an obvious suspension of very small particles in light-colored beers may be an indication that there are plentiful quantities of antioxidant polyphenols in the beer, or that the beer has not been overly processed. However, light, clear beers may be healthful, and very high in quality, but it is important that they be bottle conditioned. Some strains of yeast result in a murky yeast suspension in the beer, while other yeasts result in a thick, compact sediment and an otherwise relatively clear beer. Many healthful nutrients should exist in the yeast sediment and suspended yeast. Some European lagers are aged (lagered) for many months before being bottled. These beers may still contain living yeast, but will be quite clear due to the extended lagering period.

Step 4:
Purchase some beers according to the above steps, and taste them. The beers that are more bitter were probably made with greater quantities of hops. Beers that are not overly bitter but have lots of hop flavor and aroma may have been made with more hops than some bitter beers. More hops means more healthful hop constituents. Beers with hop flavor and aroma should provide a greater variety of delicate hop antioxidants. Dark beers need not be overly bitter or have hop flavor and aroma, as the dark malt helps to keep significant quantities of healthful hop constituents in solution even though less hops may be used. When pouring beer into a glass, try swirling the dregs of the beer in the bottle and pouring the loosened sediment into your glass. This will help to ensure that you consume all of the available healthful nutrients. However, such a practice may not be recommended for certain styles of beer.

Buying: You can buy Beer at your local grocery or liquor store.

Conserving and Storing

Depending on the style, beer needs to be stored in a way that maintains its flavor and freshness. Some can even be stored and aged for maturation. Follow these easy steps to store your beer.

Store vintage beers, imperial stouts, strong ales and lambics in an upright position in a cool, dark place for aging. Keeping these beers stored for long periods of time (a year or more) enhances their flavor and helps them develop complexity-just like wine.

Maintain the temperature of your beer. Though cycling beer from warm to cold and back again usually only causes cloudiness, for the best flavor, keep your beer in the refrigerator at all times.

Keep beer away from direct light. Light reacts with the hops in the beer causing it to stale quickly, often referred to as "skunking." Store beer in a dark place at all times where light cannot reach it.

Use carbon dioxide with keg beer instead of compressed air to force it out. Oxygen accelerates the chemical reactions that cause staling in beer. Keg beer can go flat in a matter of days when exposed to oxygen.

Take note of the "freshness" or "consume by" date on the beer packaging. If there is no date, store your beer for no longer than 6 weeks (unless you are aging it). Beer is perishable, like other foods, and can only be stored and kept fresh for a limited amount of time. Stronger, hoppier beers may keep for longer.


As almost any cereal containing certain sugars can undergo spontaneous fermentation due to wild yeasts in the air, it is possible that beer-like beverages were independently developed throughout the world soon after a tribe or culture had domesticated cereal. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced about 5,500 years ago in what is today Iran, and was one of the first-known biological engineering tasks where the biological process of fermentation is used. Also recent archaeological findings showing that Chinese villagers were brewing fermented alcoholic drinks as far back as 7000 BC on small and individual scale, with the production process / methods similar to that of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

In Mesopotamia (Ancient Iraq), early evidence of beer is a 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honoring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, which contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread.

History: Historical documentation shows that around 5,000 years ago, ancient Chinese civilizations were brewing a beer-like substance known as kui.

In ancient Mesopotamia, clay tablets indicate that brewing was a fairly well respected occupation during the time, and that the majority of brewers were women. The discovery that reuse of the same container for fermenting the mash provided more reliable results was an early one: brewers on the move carried their tubs with them.

The Ebla tablets, discovered in 1974 in Ebla, Syria, which date to 2,500 BC, reveal that the city produced a range of beers, including one that appears to be named "Ebla" after the city. Early traces of beer and the brewing process have been found in ancient Babylonia as well. At the time, brewers were women as well, but also priestesses. Some types of beers were used especially in religious ceremonies. In 2,100 BC, the Babylonian king Hammurabi included regulations governing tavern keepers in his law code for the kingdom.

Beer was part of the daily diet of Egyptian Pharaohs over 5,000 years ago. Then, it was made from baked barley bread, and was also used in religious practices.

The role of beer in Egyptian society was far greater than just a drink. Often, beer was prescribed to treat various illnesses. Beer was considered to be the most proper gift to give to Egyptian Pharaohs, and it was also offered as a sacrifice to the gods.



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