Beer is an alcoholic beverage typically made from fermented cereal grains.
To brew beer, one or more cereal grains are malted to convert the starch and proteins to sugars and other nutrients that will support yeast growth. The malted grain is cooked, and the extracted liquid is allowed to ferment. Flavorings such as hops are often added during this process.
Barley, wheat, and corn are common grains used to make beer. Various other cereals may be used, and in some traditions, other starch-containing foods may be used, such as potato, cassava, and agave.
Beer typically ranges in color from a pale golden to a darker brown. The darkness of a beer is determined by how long the malted grains are roasted. The flavor profile of a given beer depends on a variety of factors, including the use of hops and other flavorings, the type of yeast used, the brewing temperature, and the grains used to make it.
In addition to its consumption as an alcoholic beverage, beer is frequently used as an ingredient in cooking. It has many uses, including as a leavening agent in batters for deep-fat fried foods and baked goods. Beer can add flavor and moisture, and it may also be used in stews and sauces.
Distilling beer produces whiskey. For consumption of uncooked beer, see the numerous warnings on the alcoholic drink page.