Crafted from 4 core natural ingredients

What is beer made from?

First and foremost, beer is created with just four key ingredients: hops, malt, yeast and water. Depending on the style or flavour profile desired by the brewer, sugars, herbs, spices or fruits may also be added to the recipe.

MALT, THE SOUL OF BEER

Beer is a beautiful tapestry of ingredients and flavours and they are all built on a base of Malt. Malt is a grain component primarily derived from barley that gives beer its colour, consistency & mouthfeel. It gives beer that sweet-biscuity element and is essentially what the rest of the beer is built upon. During the brewing process it also ensures the yeast has enough to eat. Malt is usually made with barley but wheat, rye and other grains can also be used to make beer.

Malt starts its journey on the fields as grain that is then soaked to release enzymes that unlock the starch in the grain and are essential in brewing. Drying and roasting follows, and similar to coffee beans, the extent of this kilning decides the colour and flavour of the malt. It can range from straw coloured Pale malt to dark roasted Black malt.

HOPS, THE SPICE OF BEER

When you think of a beer’s distinctive, unique character, dry finish and lingering bitterness, what you’re really tipping your hat to are the hops. The hops themselves are the cone shaped flower of the female hop vine. The vine itself is one of the worlds fastest growing plants shooting up to 8m in less than a year. Like other vines, the flavour and yield of the hops are heavily affected by the soil and environment in which they are grown.

Hops are in many ways the herbs and spice of beer. Their bitterness also balances out the sweet biscuity malt component. They have an array of flavour and aroma characteristics ranging from earthy-pine, grassy resinous to tropical fruit, lemon, lime & zesty citrus.

YEAST, THE MAGICAL INGREDIENT

If malt is the soul of beer and hops are the spice then yeast is most definitely the magical ingredient in beer. It’s the billions of tiny living cells that create the alcohol in beer during a process called fermentation and it is this process that eliminates almost all the sugars in the brew. This is why such a sugary high carbohydrate mixture such as ‘wort’, from water and crushed malt, can be converted into an alcoholic beverage that is eventually so low in carbohydrate and sugar. However, the purpose of yeast in beer isn’t only to create alcohol.

There are hundreds of brewers’ yeasts available and each one gives a different outcome to the beer’s flavour, aroma and overall composition. When the yeast is done making magic in the fermentation tank, it is then recovered to either start again or find its way into some of our favourite breakfast spreads!

WATER, THE UNSUNG HERO

Over 90% of beer is comprised of water and yet, it is the unsung hero of beer. Few ever acknowledge its incredibly important contribution to a beer’s overall style and flavour. Each style of beer requires a certain type of water to be successfully brewed.

Whether the water is higher or lower in mineral content can have a big effect on the final brew as historically certain beer styles developed based on what the local water reserves were like. For example, to brew an English Ale, one requires water similar to that of the river Trent in England where the style began! Still today, brewers have to replicate this particular water source which is high in mineral content to produce a true English Ale.

EXPLORING OTHER INGREDIENTS

When people hear that there is sometimes more to beer than water, malt, hops and yeast, it often leads to a bit of confusion. The answer is that when brewers add other ingredients to beer, there are a lot of exciting flavours that can occur. Sugars such as those from cane sugar, or honey for example can often be added to beer to add flavour and body. Don’t worry, because this doesn’t mean that the beer is packed with sugars, as most of the sugar is used by the yeast to create alcohol and carbon dioxide during fermentation.

While hops are the primary source of spicey or herbal flavours in a beer, sometimes brewers go a little bit further by adding extra herbs such as coriander, ginger, lime leaves, vanilla and even fruit! Lemon, lime, oranges and berries have found use in flavouring beer while peppercorns are sometimes added to Saisons. Cinnamon quills can be added to Christmas beers and many Belgian Witbiers use coriander and orange peel in their recipes to enhance the beer flavour and aroma!