After water and tea, beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic drink in the world. Brewed from cereal grains like malted barley, corn, wheat and rice; the fermentation process of starch sugars in Wort produce ethanol and carbonation in beer. Modern beer is now brewed with hops that add flavor and bitterness to the drink while acting as a preservative and stabilizing agent at the same time. Other flavoring agents which are used in some types of beer include herbs or fruits in place of hops. The natural carbonation effect is quite often removed in commercial brewing and replaced with reinforced carbonation.
Beer Strength & Distribution
Distributed in bottles and cans, beer is available in pubs and bars, even on draught. Consisting of numerous multinational companies and thousands of small producers ranging from brewpubs to local breweries, the beer brewing industry is now a global business. Alcoholic strength of most modern beer ranges between 4 to 6 percent by volume and may in some types vary between 0.5 percent 20 percent. Some breweries have also created beer examples of 40 percent alcohol strength and above. Beer is a part of social culture in many nations across the world and is associated with traditional beer festivals and rich pub culture activities like pub games, pub crawling and bar billiards.
One of the Oldest Prepared Beverages
Yes, dating back to the early 9500 BC, beer is one of the world’s oldest prepared beverages where farming cereals had just begun. It is also speculated that beer was instrumental in formation of civilizations. In many parts of the world workers were even paid with beer. Beer in such situations served as both, nutrition and refreshment. Beer spread through Europe by Celtic and Germanic tribes as back as 3000 BC, and was largely brewed on domestic scale. Along with the main starch source, early European beers quite often contained honey, fruits, spices, types of plants and other narcotic substances as well. Hops however are a later addition.
Commercial Production of Beer
As of now, total global annual beer production is 1.96 billion hectoliters and where China leads with 460 million hectoliters to be followed by USA consuming over 189 million hectoliters. Some of the most common types of beers circulating the commercial market today are Ale, Lager, Stout, Pilsner, Pale Ale, Porter, Wheat Beer and Bitter Beer. After all, tastes vary and beer types are normally rated in accordance with the taste, alcohol content, complexity and popularity.