A Pint is a Must! An Introduction to Beer

Going to the pub for a pint of beer is a MUST on Friday after work. This is one of the first things I have learnt about London. And of course, I am following this rule!

But where does the word beer come from?

The word “beer” (birra in italian) comes from “bhereu” or “bheru” which means boiling – probably referring to the fermentation and the carbonation effect. Beer is a very old beverage, probably it was born in Mesopotamia around 3500 BC.

But how is it made and what is the process?

Beer comes from the fermentation of cereals. I do not want to bother you explaining the process, but if you are curious and want to investigate further click here.


  • Water: the main ingredient
  • Starch source: fermentable material- strength and flavour of the beer depends on it. The most common: malted grain
  • Hops: “antiseptic” for the beer – it contributes to the flavour
  • Yeasts: activation of the fermentation of the starch


  1. High fermentation: 15-25 C. It produces beers with a high alcohol content and more complex aromas. Only the 10% of the worldwide beers production follow this process
  2. Low fermentation: 5-10 C. It produces lighter beers in terms of alcohol and simpler aromas. These beers are called Lagers.

Very interesting: 50% of beer consumption in Germany and UK is of high fermentation beers.

And what about the colour?

Blonde beer, dark beer… how’s generated the colour? It depends on the temperature of the oven where the malted grain is dry out.

  • Blonde beer: 75 C
  • Red beer: 90-100 C
  • Dark beer: 100-115 C.

How about tasting a beer?

Below the best glass (tulip shape) to proceed for the beer tasting.

tulipano glass

There are 3 steps, the same of a wine tasting:


Basically, it would be possible to follow most of this scheme:


During the beer tasting, there are two aspects that are highlighted: bitterness and alcohol. Bitterness is actually measured through an index called IBU (abbreviation for the International Bitterness Units scale). But I will talk about it in another blog post, where I will make a viz in Tableau.

A presto!




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