Every year, the beer industry sells almost $120 million in beer to Americans. And the craft beer market continues to grow every year, rising by 4% in 2018. Beer has become big business, and you are most likely reading this because you are part of it!
But what you may not think about too often, is how beer is made. That delicious, refreshing beverage you enjoy on a hot summer day didn’t just magically appear. There is an incredible process that happens to create your favorite beer.
Keep reading to discover how everyone’s favorite adult beverage is crafted!
How Beer Is Made
Before we get into the process, you’ll need to know the key ingredients used in making beer. There are 4 core ingredients used in almost every kind of beer. Those ingredients are barley, hops, water, and yeast.
Now let’s get to the process!
Step 1: Malting
Most beers contain some kind of grain, with barley being the most common for your average beer. These grains are then heated at high temperatures which causes them to dry out and crack. This helps to isolate the enzymes and prepare them for the next step in the process.
Step 2: Steeping or Mashing
The next step in the process is to steep the grains in a hot, but not quite boiling, water. This is very reminiscent of the way tea leaves are steeped to make tea. Doing this releases the sugars in the grains.
After an hour or two, you will drain the water that is now full of the grain’s sugars. This is called wort, or in other words, unmade beer.
Step 3: Boiling
Now that you have the wort made, it’s time to boil it. You will generally boil this for 1-2 hours, and during that time you will add the hops and any other spices you want for whatever flavor you are trying to create.
The hops help to add some bitterness to the sugar from the grains, which creates a more well-balanced beverage. The hops are also a natural preservative, which is actually what they were originally used for.
Step 4: Fermentation
Once you finish boiling, it’s time to begin the fermentation process. This happens by taking what you’ve created so far and adding yeast. The yeast is a sort of catalyst that actually helps create the alcohol in the beer.
Up until this point, there has been no alcohol in what you’ve made. Now you’re ready to let time do its thing. The fermentation process can take up to several weeks and is stored at either room temperature or cold temperatures depending on what style of beer is being made.
Step 5: Bottling & Aging
Now your beer is almost done and ready for bottling. However, you don’t want to drink it yet, but you could always use it to make an amazing beer slide. The next step is to bottle it and either artificially carbonate it or allow the yeast to do it naturally.
The aging process can take weeks or months, depending on what kind of beer is being made or a specific taste that is trying to be accomplished. Once the aging is done, you are ready to enjoy that satisfying and delicious beer you love so much!
Grab a Cold One!
As you can see, the process of how beer is made is an art form in and of itself. Now that you know what goes into it, maybe you’ll enjoy that ice cold beer just a little bit more next time.
The best place to enjoy your next cold one is as the Nashville Oktoberfest. Head over to our website and grab your VIP tickets now!