Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. Beer is brewed from cereal grains—most commonly from malted barley, though wheat, maize (corn), and rice 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 stabilizing 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 and pub games.
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|A Trappist beer is a beer brewed by or under control of Trappist monks. Of the World's Trappist monasteries, seven produce beer; six in Belgium and one in the Netherlands. These seven breweries are authorized to label their beers with the Authentic Trappist Product logo that indicates a compliance to various rules issued by the International Trappist Association.
The Trappists, like many other religious orders, brewed beer to fund their work, and monastery brewhouses existed all over Europe. Many of them were destroyed during the French Revolution and the World Wars. Among these monastic breweries, the Trappists were certainly the most active brewers. The growing popularity of Trappist beers drew some unscrupulous brewers with no connection to the order to label their beers as "Trappist". After some unsuccessful lawsuits, the order successfully sued one such brewer in 1962 in Ghent, Belgium.
In 1997, eight Trappist abbeys — six from Belgium, one from the Netherlands, and one from Germany — founded the International Trappist Association (ITA) to prevent non-Trappist commercial companies from abusing the Trappist name. This private association created a logo that is assigned to goods (cheese, beer, wine, etc.) that respect precise production criteria. There are currently seven breweries that are allowed to have their products wear the Authentic Trappist Product logo: Bières de Chimay, Orval Brewery, Rochefort Brewery, Westmalle Brewery, Westvleteren Brewery, Achel Brewery, and De Koningshoeven Brewery.
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Produced by Carlton & United Beverages
Victoria Bitter has the highest market share of all beer sold in Australia, both on tap and packaged. It is brewed by Carlton & United Beverages, a subsidiary of Foster's Group, brewers of the Fosters brand beer. Despite its name, it is technically a fairly standard commercial lager rather than a bitter, although perhaps slightly more bitter than many. It is available in New Zealand, the UK, and to a limited extent, other countries abroad.
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||Well ya see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo, and when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells, but naturally it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers.
The Buffalo Theory as explained on an episode of Cheers by Cliff Clavin to his drinking buddy, Norm Peterson
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Spanish Galleon tavern in Greenwich, London, UK, with a statement of "Shepherd Neame" being "Britain's oldest brewery".
The following are images from various beer- and brewing-related articles on Wikipedia.
The Alulu beer receipt records a purchase of "best" beer from a brewer, c. 2050 BC from the Sumerian city of Umma in Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq).
Open vessels showing fermentation taking place
Alulu beer receipt – This records a purchase of "best" beer from a brewer, c. 2050 BC from the Sumerian city of Umma in ancient Iraq.
Modern closed fermentation vessels
Microbreweries, regional breweries, and brew pubs per capita
Cask ales at a beer festival, with gravity dispense
A can of Juicy Ass IPA from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, Canada
Irish Craft Beer Festival, 2015
World beer consumption per capita
Traditional fermenting building (center) and modern fermenting building (left) in Pilsner Urquell Brewery (Czech Republic)
A replica of ancient Egyptian beer, brewed from emmer wheat by the Courage brewery in 1996
Bill Urquhart at Litchborough Brewery
Yeast ring used by Swedish homebrewers in the 19th century to preserve the yeast between brewing sessions.
Spent grain, a brewing by-product
Brew kettles at Brasserie La Choulette in France
Casks of real ale from British microbreweries at a beer festival
D. G. Yuengling & Son is the oldest operating brewing company in the US, established in 1829. It is also the largest craft brewer, and the 6th largest brewing company overall.
Bottling beer in a modern facility, 1945, Australia
Malted barley before kilning or roasting
Garden of Eden
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WikiProject Beer is an association of Wikipedians with an interest in beer and beer-related subjects. They have come together to coordinate the development of beer and brewery articles here on Wikipedia. Additionally, other groups have formed other projects that entertain subjects that are directly related to beer, bartending and pubs. Additionally, the mixed drinks project covers topics that include beer cocktails. If any of these subjects pique your interest, please feel free to visit their projects. These groups would love to have you participate!