How is Alcohol Made? Everything you need to know

There are several types of alcohol, the most common being ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol. It comes in two distinct categories: Alcoholic beverages and industrial alcohol (household products, cosmetics, etc.)

Alcoholic beverages are produced from fruits and vegetables, or from plants that naturally produce it by fermentation.

Alcohol is obtained by ferreting a natural source of sugar in the presence of a catalyst, which is usually yeast.

During the fermentation process, the carbohydrates in the main source are converted into carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol, which form the basis of all alcoholic beverages.

Many brands guard the precise recipe of their drinks, known only to their distillers, brewers, and winemakers. However, any type of alcoholic beverage must pass through this process.


Beer is made from barley and wheat. Once the grains and sugars have been malted and brewed for a while, extra gains, and other ingredients are added for color, flavor and/or clarity.

Fun Fact: If you distill beer, you get whiskey – because both types of drinks are made from the same ingredients. If you remove some of the water from the beer by heating it until it turns into a gas and cooling it until it becomes liquid again, the remaining concentrated alcohol is whiskey.


Wine is usually made from grapes, but other fruits or vegetables can also be used. As the sugars in the fruits or vegetable ferment, the resulting liquid is the wine.

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