Barley to the Bar

There are thousands of recipes for beer, but four ingredients are essential: barley malt, yeast, hops, and water.
Barley Malt, The “Soul” of the Beer

Barley malt is responsible for giving beer its color, its malty sweet flavor, and most importantly, the sugars needed for fermentation.

In addition to the malted barley, several brewers use select un-malted grains in their brewing. While it’s a common misconception that this is done to save money, several adjuncts are as costly as malted barley. The use of adjuncts often produce lighter, crisper, and milder profile found most common in American- style lager.

Yeast, The “Life” of the Beer

Brewer’s yeast is a living organism and one of nature’s wonders. It has the ability to turn sugar into alcohol, carbonation, and hundreds of flavors.

Yeast for brewing comes in two distinct forms: ale yeast and lager yeast. Each brewer considers the yeast they use as proprietary. Many brewers keep their own pure cultures locked away in safekeeping to ensure consistency and quality in future brews.

Hops, The “Spice” of the Beer

Hops are the cone-shaped blossoms that give beer its balance. The unique aroma and bitter flavor of hops actually balance the sweetness of barley malt quite nicely.

Many spices have been used throughout history to flavor beer, but hops eventually became the “spice of choice” because of their preservation qualities. There are many unique verities of hops which provide a verity of aromas and tastes.

Water, The “Integrity” of the Beer

You might call water the “unsung” hero of the beer ingredients. It doesn’t get the recognition that barley malt, and hops get, but water is the primary ingredient in beer.

Water should not impact the taste of the beer. That’s why water is always filtered, tested, and tasted before entering the brewing process.