Beer (

Beer is one of the oldest types of alcoholic drinks in the world, and the most widely consumed. It is the third most popular drink overall after potable water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of starches, mainly derived from cereal grains—most commonly malted barley, though wheat, maize (corn), rice, and oats are also used. During the brewing process, fermentation of the starch sugars in the wort produces ethanol and carbonation in the resulting beer. Most modern beer is brewed with hops, which add bitterness and other flavours and act as a natural preservative and stabilising 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 brewpubs to 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 crawling, pub quizzes and pub games.

When beer is distilled, the resulting liquor is a form of whisky.

Source: Beer (

Heineken sells off Russian beer business for €1

Heineken has finally sold off its Russian business for €1 - or 86p - nearly a year and a half after first pledging to do so. The Dutch brewer said it will take a loss of €300m on the division, which is being offloaded to Russia's Arnest, which makes aerosol cans.

Dylan Mulvaney: Bud Light loses top spot in US after boycott

Bud Light has lost its position as the best-selling beer in the US after facing a boycott, new figures show. In the four weeks to 3 June sales were down by almost a quarter, according to consulting firm Bump Williams.

The treasure inside beer lost in a shipwreck 120 years ago

As we head towards the end of another extraordinary year, BBC Future is taking a look back at some of our favourite stories for our "Best of 2021" collection. Discover more of our picks here.

Australia's growing thirst for alcohol-free wine and beer

Australian entrepreneur Irene Falcone's enthusiasm is as bright as the labels on the non-alcoholic wine and beer that fill the shelves in her ground-breaking store - Sans Drinks - on Sydney's affluent Northern Beaches. The ground is - without question - shifting.

Abydos beer factory: Ancient large-scale brewery discovered in Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed what could be the world's oldest known beer factory, dating back about 5,000 years. They found a number of units containing about 40 pots used to heat a mixture of grain and water to make beer.

Heineken fined for forcing pubs to stock too many of its beers

Heineken's pubs business has been fined £2m by the industry watchdog after forcing tenants to sell "unreasonable levels" of its own beers and ciders. Star Pubs and Bars "seriously and repeatedly" broke rules for three years, the Pubs Code Adjudicator said.

Heineken - Walk in Fridge

New Heineken commercial

Tesco mistake leads to beer rush

An error which slashed the price of beer and cider led to a stampede of customers at a number of Tesco supermarkets in Scotland. Police were called to Tesco in Greenock after heavy congestion was reported in the car park as customers rushed to get the deal.

Profit down 95% at Stella brewer

The world's biggest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, has reported a 95% fall in three-month profits, blaming costs of restructuring the business Its attributable profits in the last quarter of 2008 fell to 49m euros ($62m; £43m) from 900m euros in 2007.

No deal in Belgian beer dispute

A second round of talks to end almost two weeks of blockades at the Belgian breweries of the world's largest beer-maker have ended without agreement.Staff at Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev's plants in Leuven and Liege have now been blocking the entrances for 13 days in a row over 263 job cuts.

Molecular trap makes fresher beer

The approach works by removing riboflavin, or vitamin B2, which causes changes to beer's flavour when exposed to light passing through the bottle. Scientists at the Technical University of Dortmund designed a polymer "trap" with tiny crevices that capture the riboflavin molecules.

Making electricity from urine

Scientists have developed a way to convert urine in to a renewable energy source. But as Sally Magnusson, author of Life of Pee and presenter of Radio 4's Secret Science of Pee, writes in this viewpoint feature, there is some way to go before the idea is embraced more widely.

Iron-Age brewing evidence found in southeastern France

Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that the occupants of southeastern France were brewing beer during the Iron Age, some 2,500 years ago.

How Bronze Age man enjoyed his pint

Bronze Age Irishmen were as fond of their beer as their 21st century counterparts, it has been claimed. Two archaeologists have put forward a theory that one of the most common ancient monuments seen around Ireland may have been used for brewing ale.

Falling stout bubbles explained

Irish mathematicians may have solved the mystery of why bubbles in stout beers such as Guinness sink: it may simply be down to the glass. Simulations suggest an upward flow at the glass's centre and a downward flow at its edges in which the liquid carried the bubbles down with it.


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Beer goggles 'don't disguise age'

The effect of "beer goggles" should not be used as an excuse for men getting a woman's age wrong, a study suggests. University of Leicester researchers showed 240 people, half of whom had been drinking, digitally-altered images of females meant to be 13, 17 or 20.

Alcohol's Neolithic Origins Brewing Up a Civilization

Did our Neolithic ancestors turn to agriculture so that they could be sure of a tipple? US Archaeologist Patrick McGovern thinks so. The expert on identifying traces of alcohol in prehistoric sites reckons the thirst for a brew was enough of an incentive to start growing crops.

'Free' Danish beer makes a splash

The Danes love their beer, but increasingly they are looking beyond the old Danish standby, Carlsberg, to quench their thirst. It is called Vores Oel, or Our Beer, and the recipe is proving to be a worldwide hit.

'Beer goggles' effect explained

Scientists believe they have worked out a formula to calculate how "beer goggles" affect a drinker's vision. The drink-fuelled phenomenon is said to transform supposedly "ugly" people into beauties - until the morning after.

beer alcohol brewing drink