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What is Beer?

What is beer?

At it’s simplest, beer is a drink made from just four ingredients: water, hops, malt and yeast. The process of making beer is called brewing. Brewing involves the heating and cooling of water and hops to release floral, aromatic and bittering flavours and malted barley (AKA malt), releasing both a range of flavours and the fermentable sugars that will be turned into alcohol via fermentation.

Fermentation occurs once the water, hops and malt have been heated, cooled and strained so the yeast can get stuck into the sugars released from the malted barley. Yeast, a microorganism, eats the sugar, releases alcohol and develops unique flavours creating the drinks we all know and love as beer.  

The word beer actually refers to a whole range of drinks. Familiar to most people are the two broad categories of ale and lager. Both are beer. The major difference is that they both use different types of yeast which effect the brewing techniques used and resulting flavours. CAMRA campaigns on behalf of ales, brewers and the places where ales are served due to our rich and diverse culture of ale brewing and consumption in the United Kingdom. In the 1970’s that culture was under threat due to the negative impacts of changes in the business of brewing, pub ownership and beer distribution. CAMRA was founded to check such threats and to help reverse any decline.

There are many different styles of beer. Traditional, established British styles and what are loosely termed international styles. Click the button below to find out why CAMRA refers to and champions specific ales as ‘real’. 

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