Pre-Reading Questions

  1. Do you know how beer is made?
  2. When do you think people first started making beer?
  3. What gives beer its special flavor?
  4. Do you know what a brewery is?
  5. Is beer a popular drink for both men and women in your country?

Vocabulary Preview

  • seedling: a young plant
  • yeast: a substance used in cooking or baking that causes chemical change
  • ingredient: part of a mixture
  • monk: a member of a religious community
  • brewery: a place where beer is made
  • sewage: waste material carried off through pipes
  • duty: responsibility; work one is supposed to do
  • container: something used to hold things
  • crush: press into smaller pieces or powder
  • liquid: a substance like water; not a solid or gas

Practice these new vocabulary words here: Beer


  1. Beer is an alcoholic drink made from grain, hops, water, and yeast.
  2. First, grain such as barley or millet is malted. This means it is allowed to grow into seedlings before it is dried and crushed. Other cereal grains like corn or wheat are then added, along with hot water, which turns the mixture into a mash. The liquid that runs off from the mash is put into a large container and boiled with dried hop flowers. Hops give beer its special flavor. Other flavors can be added. When the liquid cools, yeast is added and the brew is left to ferment. This is when the alcohol content of beer forms.
  3. The main ingredient of beer made in North America and Europe is barley. Millet or corn is often used in Africa, and the Japanese make beer from rice.
  4. People have been making and drinking beer for almost 6,000 years. The Sumerians, who lived in what is now Iraq, left the earliest written records about brewing beer. Later civilizations, including the ancient Egyptians, grew special types of grain to make beer. Ancient people drank beer for its alcohol content and because it helped to keep them healthier and kept them from going hungry.
  5. In Britain, monks were brewing beer by 543 A.D. In the 1400s, women brewed beer as one of their household duties. Some of them made such good beer that other people bought it from them. By the 1700s, large breweries were making and selling beer.
  6. People drank beer because there was not much else to drink. Clean drinking water was hard to find, especially in big cities like London, until sewage systems were built. In the meantime, men, women, and children drank beer at every meal, including breakfast.
  7. Today, beer is still brewed and enjoyed in every part of the world.


True of False. Read the statements below.
  1. People have been making beer for about 600 years.
  2. North America and Europe us the same ingredients in their beer.
  3. The first written records about making beer came from the ancient Egyptians.
  4. Women used to make beer as one of their household duties.
  5. In the past, it was common for children to drink beer.

Post Reading Questions

  1. What gives beer its special flavor?
  2. How does Japanese beer differ from North American beer?
  3. Why did ancient people drink beer?
  4. When did large breweries start making beer?
  5. Why did many people drink beer with every meal in the 18th century?
  6. Is beer a popular beverage in your country?
  7. Which is more popular, beer or wine?
  8. Is it legal for children to drink alcohol in your country?
  9. Can children buy alcohol legally in your country?
  10. Do you think it was harmful for children to drink beer with every meal in the 18th century?
  11. In some countries beer is sold only in liquor stores. In other countries you can buy it in grocery stores or even vending machines. Do you think there should be any restrictions on where beer is sold?
  12. Do you think it is a good idea to sell beer at sporting events or large concerts?

Additional Resources