How is Beer Made? The Brewing Process Explained

August 21, 2023

Beer T-Shirt

If you have ever wondered how the world’s – and maybe your – favorite alcoholic beverage is made, then wonder no longer because we have compiled everything you need to know about beer brewing. Whether you want to start practicing this ancient craft or are just curious about synthesizing this bittersweet thirst quencher, extinguish your burning curiosity about the wonderful world of beer brewing.

The Main Ingredients of Beer

Barley & Hops & Water & Yeast Men/Unisex T-Shirt

Barley & Hops & Water & Yeast T-Shirt

Despite its long history and rather complex brewing methods, beer has the same four main ingredients used centuries ago. The oldest food and drink regulation in the world is the German “purity order” (Reinheitsgebot), which stipulates that only water, barley, and hops (yeast) should be used for brewing beer. These days it is common to exchange Barley for other grains to produce the malt that is necessary for beer.


Beer is mainly made of water, a relatively straightforward and simple ingredient. However, the mineral components of groundwater differ for every region, producing some natural springs better suited for certain types of beer. Although beer brewers take great care in their choice of water, it is totally fine to use tap water if you’re a homebrewer. 


Despite the variety of grains available, most breweries use barley grains, which are ideal for brewing due to their fibrous husk. The grain is used to produce malt, which eventually becomes the actual ingredient for beer. It is a rather complex process, which will be explained in more detail below, so purchasing manufactured malt for homebrewing is possible.


I Hop Craft Beer T-Shirt

I Hop Craft Beer T-Shirt

Over one millennia ago, hops were already used to flavor this popular fermented alcoholic beverage. It has become the dominant flavoring ingredient for most beer worldwide, while in some areas like Germany, it is a mandatory ingredient for producing real beer. Abeer without hops is not a beer but a gruit.

Hops perfectly balance the sweetness of the malt by providing some bitterness and deeper flavors and aromas. Thanks to their antimicrobial qualities, hops stabilize the beer and promote brewer’s yeast.


My Blood Type Is IPA Men/Unisex T-Shirt

My Blood Type Is IPA T-Shirt

A key ingredient in the fermentation process is yeast. It not only ferments the beer, but it also contributes to the flavor of the beer. There are two primary types of yeast used in brewing, namely ale yeast and lager yeast. They are distinguished by their properties and heat requirements during fermentation. While ale yeast is top fermenting at higher temperatures, lager yeast is bottom fermenting at lower temperatures. Ale yeast is better for a more flavorful profile, while lager yeast is ideal for a clean taste.

The Brewing Process

After all this talk about ingredients, you probably still think, “So, how is beer made?”. There are many stages to pass to arrive at the finished product, which is a good beer. We will explain the main steps so that you will no longer have to wonder how beer is made.


As briefly mentioned above, the grain must be made into malt. For most beers, brewers use barley grain that they soak in water (steeping) and subsequently put in a germinating box, where the enzymes form and separate the starch. The germinating process is then interrupted by the initiation of the kilning. Kilning is the final stage of malting, where the grain undergoes several hours of drying at an increasingly high temperature. The barley grain has now turned into barley malt and is milled to dissolve in water easily.


During the mashing process, the milled malt and hot water are mixed in a mash tun, where the starch in the malt dissolves and turns into fermentable sugars, protein, and tannin. The resulting liquid mash is filtered in a lauter tun, where residual solids are strained to create wort.


In this stage, the wort is boiled with hops (and possibly other ingredients) in a wort kettle to add bitterness and flavor. Due to evaporation, many chemical reactions eventually make the wort return to its original form and create a residual substance called trub. The flavored wort is then put into the “whirlpool,” a clarifying vessel, where solid residues are filtered out.

Fermentation Process

Before the primary fermentation process, the wort is cooled to a temperature that makes it safe for the yeast to be added. There are warm, cool, and wild fermentation methods, which may occur in open or closed fermentation vessels. Then a type of yeast is added to start the fermentation, during which the malt sugar turns into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The fermented yeast will sink to the bottom or float to the top, depending on the yeast, and will be separated later.


During storing, the beer is conditioned for a certain amount, ranging between a few weeks to many months or years, depending on the brewery. Meanwhile, a secondary fermentation occurs, during which more left-over yeast and other substances collect at the bottom.


At last, the beer is filtered to remove all excess and unwanted residues and give a clear and brilliant coloring. The beer will be left more cloudy or clear depending on the filter used. After this filtration, the finished beer arrives at its final color.

Types of Beer

Frequent Flyer Women's T-Shirt

Frequent Flyer T-Shirt

Despite having only four key ingredients, the complex brewing process makes it believable that there are over 100 beers worldwide. Only minor changes regarding the choice of water, yeast, grain, or individual brewing steps can change the outcome. Lager beers are the most popular beer in the world, but if you are an ale lover, check out ourMy Blood Type is IPA t-shirt to express your taste confidently.

Despite its long tradition in European countries, where the typical ale and lager beers originate, this alcoholic beverage has also become a staple of American culture in the past centuries. The oldest public breweries date back to 17th century New York; ever since American beer brewing has increasingly flourished.

Drink Beer & Be Nice

Drink Beer And Be Nice Men/Unisex T-Shirt

Drink Beer & Be Nice T-Shirt

Now you know how beer is made, and hopefully, this is only the beginning of your journey. Check out our cool variety ofbeer-themed apparel so that you fit perfectly into your self-made home brewery. Or express your love for this communal beverage in your favorite pub. But don’t forget that drinking beer is a complex beverage that humans make for humans. So, drink beer and be nice!


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