Megan Johnson McCullough — Beer is one of the oldest and widely consumed alcohol beverages in the world. Brewing different types has become increasingly popular. Beer is brewed from cereal grains which include malted barley, wheat, maize (corn), and rice. This brewing process is called fermentation. This produces starch sugars, ethanol, and carbonation, which results in beer. Today’s beer is brewed with hops, which creates the flavor and bitterness. Sometimes other items are added instead of hops for flavoring which includes fruits and herbs.
Alcohol in any form can have health effects, especially considering the amount (regardless of the type). In a world that classifies moderate drinking as one drink per day for women and two for men, overconsumption is commonplace. Beer is empty calories when it comes to nutritional consideration. Most beers contain between 140 and 200 calories. A light beer might have about 100 calories. These added calories and the fact that alcohol causes the body to burn less fat for energy, can lead to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. The body will burn acetate instead for energy. Beer also effects blood sugar levels. Alcohol interferes with the liver converting glycogen into glucose. Beer also is a diuretic which can cause fluid loss and dehydration. It can interact and interfere with certain medications. Because it is made with wheat and barley, anyone with gluten intolerance can be affected.
Craft beer has become the popular type on tap. Sales have reached a new record. Craft beer is a small and independent particular type of beer. Craft beer still only makes up about 10% of the beer industry when this includes major sellers like Coors or Anheuser-Busch, but there are close to 2,500 craft breweries popping up across the country. Baseball stadiums are carrying it too. The fan favorite Bud Light just isn’t cutting it for everyone anymore. Beer lovers are starting to turn towards fun, new flavors. Indian Pale Ales have grown 40% in the past three years. Beer drinkers are experimenting, and beer makers are experimenting at the same time. New innovative styles are being made every day. Sampling rooms are a new trend to try different types and give new brewers a chance to pilot launch their products.
The market is planning to expand and has started to make it portable. Golf courses and markets are starting to carry them. Wholesalers and retailers are catching on and carrying lines of new brews more and more. People’s habits change and craft beer is the new evolution of one of the world’s oldest alcohol beverages.