Classification of Beer – Research Paper Example

The paper "Classification of Beer" is a perfect example of an essay on family and consumer science. A beer is any variety of alcoholic beverages produced by the fermentation of starchy material derived from grains or other plant sources. The production of beer and some other alcoholic beverages is often called brewing. Most every culture has their own tradition and their own take on beer, thus producing many different styles and variations. Basically, there are two classifications for beer - ales and lagers. Most every beer we come across falls into one of these two classifications. Contrary to semi-popular belief, both ales and lagers are indeed beer but they really can be quite different. Both ales and lagers are defined by the type of yeast used in the brewing process. Ale is fermented with top-fermenting yeast that allows for rapid fermentation at a higher temperature ranging from 15 to 25-degree centigrade. Thus it is mostly made in warmer climes. They have a higher alcoholic content and are therefore more robust than the lagers. Ales are sweeter and often have a fruity note. Sometimes they are black in color as is a type of Irish ale. They come in a wide range of styles as stout, porter, pale ale and wheat beer. These are definitely not for the weak hearted since they are stronger and more full-bodied. Lager, by contrast, is fermented with a bottom fermenting yeast that generally settles at the bottom of the fermenting vat. Lagers ferment at a much slower pace and are suitable for colder temperatures ranging below 10-degree centigrade, though nowadays 12 to 18-degree centigrade is good enough to produce a lager. A primary fermentation at a temperature between 7 to 12-degree centigrade and a secondary fermentation at temperatures below 0 degrees allow for the finest beers to be produced since the hops and the malt are allowed to ferment slowly so as to release their flavors to their absolute limit. Lagers are far paler and less alcoholic than ale and probably find more favor among people who go more for the flavor of the drink than for any other characteristic. The colder temperatures also act as a preservative agent, keeping the flavor intact. It enhances sedimentation and prevents the growth of micro-organisms so that the beer comes out cleaner and better. Beer making is certainly an art. However, unlike most arts, it can be easily learned and mastered. One needs the few basic ingredients of water, barley, hops, and yeasts to start the brewing process and can add other ingredients for the unique blend of flavors. The Granite City Food and Brewery Ltd., for instance, is one of the booming companies in the brewery industry these days that handcrafts their beers offering unique styles & flavors not typically produced by major breweries. To mention some of these unique blend of beers are: “The Duke” - the copper color of this India Pale Ale hints at the strong malt character needed to support the huge hoppy flavors and defining bitterness of this classic beer; “Broad Axe Stout” - a thick creamy head sits atop the opaque blackness of this traditional dry Irish stout. Roasted chocolate and coffee notes make this beer a great treat; “The Bennie” - a German-style lager with Bock that carries a brownish color, a medium body, and a mouth-watering smoothness from the wonderful malt flavor; “The Northern” - brewed to the American standard of a classic lager, this light golden beer is the mildest beer with a creamy, smooth taste; and the specialty of the house created and made popular by the Guests is the “Two-Pull” - a blend of the Northern Light and Mai Bock beers. Sometimes the best creations are a mix of great creations. Creating the perfect pint is an art, a craft worthy of praise!