That’s right — beer is just a small step away from being a liquid vitamin! Where does beer get its vitamins from? Beer doesn’t just contain cereal, it contains malted cereal. The malting process, simple as it is, is the key to better-than-average nutritional value.

Seeds (usually barley malt) are soaked in water and encouraged to sprout, a process basically unchanged from prehistoric times. As the seedlings start to germinate, vitamins are made. The best grade of barley takes four to five days after being immersed in water to sprout. At this juncture, the “maltster” will move these vitamin-laden sprouts to a drying kiln, stopping the germination process. Because the drying process is a gentle one, most of the vitamins remain intact. Unfortunately, Vitamin C, for instance, is fragile and doesn’t survive the kiln drying. But overall, the dried grain is vitamin rich.

In the beer-making process, the dried malt is milled into a flour, and this flour and the bran is mixed with hot water. (Yes, beer is a whole grain product.) As the mix melds, all the vitamins that can dissolve in water are released into the liquid. This nutrient-enriched broth is basically liquid bread!

During the balance of the brewing process some additional vitamins may be lost. For instance, during fermentation, some vitamins will be used to help the yeast grow. Several healthy vitamins, however, make it to your bottle of beer from your beer club selections. We encourage you to always take your daily dose of vitamins!

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Amy Heydt
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