SABMiller logo

Brewing process

What goes into making our beer?

Brewing beer is an art.

In order to make an alcoholic beverage, some form of fermentable sugar is needed. Unlike wine, which uses crushed grapes for fermentable sugar, beer gets its fermentable sugar by using cereal grain (e.g. malted barley, wheat or sorghum) or some combination of grains. The type(s) of grain used will produce different flavours.

Turning grain into fermentable sugar requires skill. The grain is soaked in water, germinated and then dried in a kiln to become ’malt’. The length of time and temperature at which l grain is dried determines its colour and flavour. The malted grain is milled to gently break open the kernel (also known as ‘grist’).

Our brewmasters mix the grist with hot water in a process called ‘mashing’. This activates enzymes in the malt, which convert the naturally occurring starch in the malt into sugar. The mash is then filtered, leaving a fermentable, sugar-laden liquid called ‘wort’.

A series of vats used in the mashing process


Brewing process – Barley


Did you know?

Three glasses of beer placed behind grain

The grains filtered from the mash are used by farmers as animal feed