1. A spirituous liquor made from any farinaceous grain; but generally from barley, which is first malted and ground, and its fermentable substance extracted by hot water. This extract or infusion is evaporated by boiling in caldrons, and hops or some other plant of an agreeable bitterness added. The liquor is then suffered to ferment in vats. beer is of different degrees of strength, and is denominated small beer ale, porter, brown stout, etc., according to its strength, or other peculiar qualities.
2. beer is a name given in America to fermenting liquors made of various other materials; and when a decoction of the roots of plants forms a part of the composition, it is called spring-beer, from the season in which it is made.