Beer and wine play an indispensable role in our social life for thousands of years. Yeast fermentation of sugars is used to produce both the drinks. Wine is a grape-based product, and beer is traditionally based on barley. The matured grapes already contain the sugar which is needed for the product fermentation, whereas, barley contains starch which needs to be broken down to fermentable sugars prior the yeast can make alcohol. Therefore, traditional brewing includes an extra step compared with winemaking, namely malting in which enzyme needed for the degradation of starch into fermentable sugar are produced.
Even for a traditional industry like beer brewing, newly developed industrial processes benefit from using enzymes derived from microbial sources. In the past years, quality issues like flavour control, beer stability and overall cost reductions in the industry go along with efficient solutions of environmental problems. Future aspects focus on a broader application of enzymes to brew with high amounts of inexpensive raw materials like barley. Alternative beer processes for the production of wort and beer with higher productivity and reduced costs of waste and by-products are under development.