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Cheers to beer

Like a crafty pint? Enjoy the revival of the artisan brew with a clear conscience, writes Eve Kalinik

real nutrition

There is nothing quite as stereotypically British as ‘going down the pub’ for a swift half. But, beyond the tradition, are there health benefits from supping one of the UK’s oldest, most popular drinks?

Beer is an alcoholic beverage made primarily from grains, with four basic raw ingredients – water, malt, hops and yeast. In traditional Western brewing, production begins with ‘malting’, which is extracting simple sugars from the complexcarbohydrate grains, so that yeasts can ferment it into the end product. This requires isolating and activating certain enzymes and, in a process called ‘mashing’, results in a sticky, sweet liquid called wort. The wort is then boiled and hops – herbaceous plants that contribute much of the flavour, and act as a preservative – are introduced. The final stage is fermentation, in which yeast is added and the beer is left to brew. In traditional methods, fizziness comes from the carbon dioxide the yeast produces.

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