Beer Types

There are two major types of beers: top-fermenting and bottom-fermenting. Top fermentation occurs at room temperature 59° to 68°F (15°-20°C) and is so named because the yeast rises to the top of the vessel during fermentation. This older process produces beers that have a natural fruitiness and include the wheat beers, true ales, stouts, and porters. Their flavor is most completely expressed when served at moderate (i.e., room) temperatures. The development of yeasts that sank during this process resulted in brews that were more stable between different batches. Most of the major brewers have switched to the bottom yeasts and cold storage (lagering). The significance of using yeast that sinks during fermentation is that airborne yeasts cannot mix with the special yeast and contaminate the process.

The most popular type of beer in the United States is lager, a pale, medium-hop-flavored beer. It is mellowed several months at 33°F (0.5°C) to produce its distinctive flavor. Lager beers average 3.3 to 3.4 percent ethyl alcohol by weight and are usually heavily carbonated. Pilsner is a European lager (that originated in medieval Pilsen, now the Czech city of Plzen) that is stored longer than other lagers and has a higher alcohol content and a rich taste of hops. Dark beers are popular in Europe but are not generally produced in the United States. The dark color is achieved by roasting the malt; dark beer has a heavier and richer taste than lager beer. British beers are many and varied, both pale and dark; some have a number of unique additives, including powdered eggshell, crab claws or oyster shells, tartar salts, wormwood seeds, and horehound juice. Porter, popular in England, is another dark beer—originally called porter's beer, it was a mixture of ale and beer. The porters of today are a sweet malty brew and contain 6 to 7 percent alcohol. Malt liquors are beers that are made using a higher percentage of fermentable sugars, resulting in a beverage with 5 to 9 percent alcohol content; the mild fruity flavor has a spicy taste and lacks the bitterness of hops. Low-calorie (sometimes called ''light'' or ''lite'') beers are pro

Top 15 Beer-Consuming Nations (1988)

Top 15 Beer-Consuming Nations (1988)

Country

Figure 1

Country

Figure 1

duced by decreasing the amount of grain used in the initial brew (using more water per unit of volume) or by adding an enzyme that reduces the amount of starch in the beer. These light beers contain only about 2.5 to 2.7 percent alcohol.

Brewing is subject to national laws concerning allowable ingredients in commercial products. Although chemical additives are allowed by some countries (e.g., the United States), German and Czech purity laws consider beers and brews a natural historical resource and disallow anything that was not part of the original (medieval) brewing tradition. Individuals sensitive to U.S. or Canadian beers are often able to drink pure beers.

U.SA China UK. Ruula Spain Canada Franca Australia

Germany Japan Bran M»wo Ciactioslovatua S. Ahtca Naficrlands Country

Figure 2

U.SA China UK. Ruula Spain Canada Franca Australia

Germany Japan Bran M»wo Ciactioslovatua S. Ahtca Naficrlands Country

Figure 2

Top 10 Brewing Companies (1990 Shipments)

Top 10 Brewing Companies (1990 Shipments)

Brewing Companies

Figure 3

source: Impact Databank, M. Shanken Communications, Inc., New York, N.Y.

Brewing Companies

Figure 3

source: Impact Databank, M. Shanken Communications, Inc., New York, N.Y.

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