How is beer made?

  • Water is a big part of beer brewing and also in the final make up of beer. 95% of beer is actually water and it affects the final flavour and style of the beer. Different types of water can be treated in the brewery to suit a specific beer.
  • There are two types of water, hard water and soft water. Hard water is used for darker or stronger beers like Guinness and Kilkenny. Soft water is used for lagers and ciders like Heineken and Tiger.
  • Different waters have different amounts of chlorides, calcium and sulphates, thus giving each beer its own unique flavour.
  • The main raw ingredient in brewing is malted barley. The barley provides sugar that will be fermented by the yeast to create alcohol. Malting helps to break down the sugars and the proteins in the barley into forms that are more easily accessible by the yeast. The barley gives the beer its colour and sweet flavours.
  • Different types of barley are used to create different beer flavours. Some are deep and roasty while others are milder and sweeter.
  • Hops add bitterness to the beer and act as a natural preservative. This was used back in the day to withstand long transportation journeys when delivering to other countries.
  • Hops cannot be grown in Malaysia or Ireland, so we import most hops. There are over 300 types of hops in the world. Pale ales and IPA have fruity hops, that is where most of the hop flavours are coming from
  • The key to Heineken’s success, A-Yeast was discovered back in the 1886, and remains essential to Heineken’s characteristic balanced taste with subtle fruity notes that people all over the planet love.
  • Yeast feeds on the sugars in the barley and converts it into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
  • Lager yeast is bottom fermenting and ferments at cold temperatures of 7 to 13 degrees Celcius for about 7 days.


  • The grain is harvested in the fields and moves to the malting process
  • Malting gives the beer colour, flavour, aroma, body, head and provides the sugar needed for yeast to convert into alcohol
  • The finished malted barley is then moved to the brewing process



  • A roller mill crushes the malted barley
  • The result is then called grist
  • Milling process is used to expose the starch needed to extract fermentable sugars for the brewing process
  • The milled barley is then move into the mashing process



  • Crushed malt is mixed with water to start theconversion processat 60-65 degrees
  • The enzymes in the malted barley convert the starch to sugars to produce a sugary liquid called wort



  • Filtering and whirlpool system to seperate the wort sugar from the malt residues called husks
  • Clear wort is produced
  • Spent grain is the leftover malt and can be used as livestock feed and fertilizer



  • Hops are then added to the boil which give the beer flavour, aroma and bitterness
  • Hops are added at different stages of the boil to give different levels of bitterness, aroma and flavour



  • The chiller brings the temperature down before moving to fermentation
  • Wort must be cooled to 6 or 20degrees depending on the yeast strain



  • Yeast is added during fermentation to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide
  • Vertical and horizontal tanks used in Heineken Malaysia
  • Top and bottom fermenting yeast used depending on the beer

Filtering and Packaging

  • Filtering process to remove all the leftover particles that would make beer cloudy (haze)
  • Removes all yeast and bacteria and avoids haze
  • Beer is transfered from a BBT (Bright beer tank) to packaging line