This article is from the Beer and Other Brewing FAQ, by Kurt Swanson firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Beer is made from extracting sugar from the starch in malted grain. This is
boiled with sufficient water & hops to make a "wort." When this has cooled,
brewing yeast is added to ferment the wort to create this finished product,
which is suitable for bottling or kegging, and maturation. Some people mash
their own grain, while others buy canned malt extract. Either method is
suitable for creating an award-winning brew, though mashing does allow
greater control over the finished product, and "mash'ers" claim better beer
is made. For more complete information get the compressed file beginners.gz
from the Stanford server
as well as similiar files from other net sources (see question 26).