New Chemistry of Beer Video from the American Chemical Society

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2011 — Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the American Chemical Society (ACS) today released a new video, The Chemistry of Beer, which focuses on the science involved in producing the world’s third most popular beverage (after water and tea).

Shot in high-definition format, the video features Sam Adams Senior Brewing Manager Grant Wood, who holds a degree in Food Science & Technology from Texas A&M University. It explains the process of turning barley, hops, water and yeast into a lager or ale. Among the insights:

  • Yeast is the most important ingredient because it determines if the brew is ale or lager.
  • Water is crucial, too, and it must be free of organic substances and “off” flavors.
  • Key flavor compounds are packed into those little flower clusters called hops, which add flavor and a pleasant bitterness to the beer.

Media Contact

Michael Bernstein

Michael Woods

Produced by the ACS Office of Public Affairs, the video includes plenty of “did-you-know” fodder for those St. Patrick’s Day conversations over a pint. Did you know, for instance, that the fermentation process in which yeast produce alcohol also produces almost 600 flavor compounds? The Chemistry of Beer ends with a message that all drinkers should take to heart, St. Patrick’s Day and every day: Drink responsibly! The video is available at


Scenes from the American Chemical Society’s
Chemistry of Beer video.
Credit: American Chemical Society
High resolution image