I think Ben Franklin gives us the best definition of what beer is….
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
If you need to know more than that.. read on.
According to Webster’s online dictionary, "beer is a fermented alcoholic beverage brewed from malt and hops." Other definitions have expanded on this slightly by discussing other ingredients (yeast, water, etc.), but the simple definition above is accurate.
Wikipedia (as you would expect) has a more detailed definition that I rather like:
Beer is the world’s oldest and most popular alcoholic beverage. It is produced by the fermentation of sugars derived from starch-based material — the most common being malted barley; however, wheat, corn, and rice are also widely used, usually in conjunction with barley.
"Beer" is also a crater on Mars (located at 351.8°E 14.5°S) that was named after the German astronomer Wilhelm Beer (not really relevant to our discussions here but it could help you win a game of Trivial Pursuit someday).
Of course, the above definitions do not do justice to what I think is the single greatest beverage known to man. In fact, if that was all we had to say about beer then this site would hardly be necessary! Therefore, if you REALLY want to learn "What is Beer?", you will need to keep reading… the entire site… every page. C’mon, don’t owe it to beer?
To get you started, here are a few of the FAQ’s that will get you up to speed quickly.
You can also go to the FAQ Page to see all of the other answers we have created thus far. Cheers!