Why scotch isn’t beer

I was recently asked:

A few nights ago a friend and I dropped by a pub for a pint. While I was ordering my beer, I heard a guy talking about how scotch and beer have the same ingredients, that they’re only brewed differently, and that if you let beer age for 15 years you’d end up with scotch.
Is this true? How can scotch and beer be the same thing? I have my doubts.

Short answer: scotch is distilled, beer is not.

Scotch and beer have the same ingredients (except beer often uses hops) and processes up to a point. Both start with barley and sometimes other grains, which is turned into a malt by soaking it in water until it sprouts. It’s then dried to stop the sprouting. Most scotch distilleries use peat to dry their malt, giving it a smokey flavor. Beer breweries often just use a hot oven. Once groundup, it’s then soaked with water and yeast to produce a wort. From there, the processes change for scotch and beer: scotch is distilled, beer isn’t.

I wouldn’t want to drink beer that’s been aged for 15 years; I doubt it’d be drinkable.

I think I may create a scotch site to add to the other 1,810,000 out there.

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