What Do You Guys Have on Tap? about beer in general. teacher wanted to know what my preferences are.

Essay by dano8801College, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

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What Do You Guys Have on Tap?

When someone mentions the word "beer" most of us picture a few of our favorite kinds. The truth is there are more different kinds of beer than most people would ever imagine. Considering all the different beers there are in our world today, the odds are, there are many you would fall in love with if ever given the chance to try them. The trick is discovering their existence.

In order to grasp the difference between beers, one must first have a basic understanding of the beer brewing process: its parts, its ingredients, and how each part affects the beer as a whole.

The basic ingredient in beer is malted barley. Barley is a grain that looks very similar to wheat and plays a big role in the beer's flavor and color. During one part of the malting process the barley is heated after germination.

The higher the temperature, the darker the beer is going to be in the end (Goldammer).

Hops are another key ingredient. This plant, which is very closely related to marijuana, plays a role in the beer's bitterness and aroma. It also helps prevent certain bacteria from infecting the beer (Goldammer).

Brewer's yeast is responsible for converting available sugars into alcohol and other byproducts. Ale yeast, the "top fermenting" type, is used when brewing ales, porters, stouts, and wheat beers. Lager yeast, the "bottom fermenting" type, is used when brewing lagers, pilsners, and bocks, among others (Goldammer).

Water plays a bigger role than many may think. Yes, it makes up about ninety percent of the beer, but the mineral content can have quite an effect on the end result. Waters from different parts of the earth contain different minerals. Some improve the taste of one beer while decreasing that...