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Wine, Beer & Spirits

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The Main Ingredients of Beer

What is beer exactly? By excruciatingly simple definition, beer is any fermented beverage made with a cereal grain. Specifically, beer is made from these four primary ingredients: [more…]

The Basic Styles of Beer

As a generic word, beer includes every style of fermented malt beverage, including ales and lagers and all the individual and hybrid styles that fall under those headings. Within the realm of major beer [more…]

The Importance of Barley to Brewing Beer

When you hear the words cereal grains, you might think of Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, Wheat Chex, or Quaker Oatmeal. But you may be surprised to know that cereal grains [more…]

The Importance of Hops for Brewing Beer

Hops are the pinecone-like flowers of a female climbing plant in the cannabis family of plants. They’re grown on enormous trellises as tall as 18 feet [more…]

Yeast’s Role in Beer Making

Yeast works hard but really enjoys itself. This little, single-cell organism, one of the simplest forms of plant life, is responsible for carrying out the fermentation process in beer making, thereby providing [more…]

Special Ingredients Added to Beer

Although the four ingredients — barley, hops, yeast, and water — are all you need to make beer, they’re by no means the only ingredients used. Additional grains, natural sugars, and flavorings are often [more…]

Drinking Beer in Belgium

Belgium is heaven for beer explorers. Beer is Belgium’s claim to fame (in beer lovers’ eyes), much as wine is to France. With more than 100 breweries (and almost ten times that a few generations ago) in [more…]

Drinking Beer in the Czech Republic

The Czechs drink about as much beer per capita as any population does. And like Germany, locally produced beers can be found in almost every Czech town. Be aware that the Czech Republic is a lager-producing [more…]

Preparing for a Beer-Tasting Trip

Chasing after beer experiences far from home involves effort and investigation. Thankfully, because people now live in a more global community and have all-hours access to reliable and up-to-date information [more…]

Beer Homebrewing Ingredients

Buying the ingredients for your first batch of beer is easy, almost a no-brainer. You go into a homebrew-supply shop or fill out an online order form and buy an extract kit [more…]

Sterilizing and Sanitizing when Homebrewing Beer

If you want your beer to taste fresh and be drinkable and enjoyable, you need to protect it from the millions of hungry microbes that are waiting to ambush your brew. Germs are everywhere; they live with [more…]

Choosing Cleansers for Beer Homebrewing Equipment

The chemicals used to clean homebrewing equipment include iodine-based products, ammonia, chlorine-based products, lye, and at least one environmentally safe cleanser that uses percarbonates. Following [more…]

Homebrewing: Letting Your Beer Ferment

Raw, sweet wort must undergo fermentation before it officially becomes beer, and bottling can’t take place until fermentation is complete. Fermentation of a 5-gallon batch usually takes a minimum of seven [more…]

Homebrewing: Bottling Your Beer

When you’re certain that the homebrewed beer you’ve lovingly crafted is fully fermented, retrieve the bottling equipment and get ready to start the bottling procedures. [more…]

Homebrewing Beer with Specialty Grains

If all the beer-making grain in the world was exactly the same, very few unique beer styles would exist. Because grain (mostly barley) is responsible for providing beer with much of its color, flavor, [more…]

American Beer History through the 19th Century

The first beer brewed by American colonists was at Sir Walter Raleigh’s Roanoke colony in 1587. The beer must not have been very good, though, because Colonists continued to request shipments of beer from [more…]

American Prohibition and Beer

When the United States celebrated its 50th birthday in July 1826, hundreds of breweries were in operation. By the turn of the century, more than a thousand existed. By 1920, though, none produced beer [more…]

American Beer in the Post-Prohibition Era

Of the 400 or so breweries that reopened following Prohibition, about half never regained the financial ground that had been lost; they eventually shut their doors. Even as new breweries continued to open [more…]

Selecting Beer for Different Occasions

A choice of beer usually depends on time and place. Whatever beer satisfies on a hot summer’s afternoon hardly suffices on a cold winter’s night. A beer you choose to be the last one of the evening might [more…]

Knowing When You Can Use Beer in a Recipe

Anywhere wine, broth, or water is called for in a recipe, beer usually offers a unique alternative. Imaginative cooks can have a field day experimenting with beer as a substitute for at least part of the [more…]

Choosing the Right Beer for a Recipe

With the wide array of styles available, you need to make a choice about which beer to use in a recipe. Although the everyday, light-bodied, commercial lagers generally do fine, they obviously don’t add [more…]

Cooking with Beer: Roasted Garlic and Onion Soup Recipe

The mellow, flavorful Brown Ale can be a delightful addition to a rich, hearty garlic and onion soup. You can roast additional heads of garlic for future use: Simply freeze the unpeeled heads in a well-sealed [more…]

Cooking with Beer: Beer Batter Extraordinaire Recipe

This beer batter can be used to crisp and coat meats, fish, vegetables — anything savory you’d like to deep fry. It’s best used immediately after being prepared, so be sure to have the food being battered [more…]

Cooking with Beer: Beer-Glazed Focaccia Recipe

This recipe makes the chewiest, fullest-flavored focaccia around, made just for beer lovers. You can follow the first five steps to prepare dough, or buy frozen bread dough, thaw it, pat it into a 1/2-inch-thick [more…]

Cooking with Beer: Chile con Carne Recipe

Adding beer — in this case Vienna, Märzen, or Oktoberfest, but the choices are plentiful — to your chili can make the flavors more complex and robust. Try serving this chili with garnishes of sharp cheddar [more…]

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