Hi folks, I'm putting the tl;dr up front: I want to start a discussion around what beer is. What makes beer, beer? Call it #philosophicalFriday. Short story long to follow: I can tell you intuitively what makes beer, well, beer. More often than not, for 99% of the time, the image (taste/smell/experience) I conjure up in my mind matches what's in my glass. But for every rule or requirement that I think is common to every beer, and therefore part of the answer, I don't have to think too long to come up with a counter-example. Hops? What about gruits, or kvass? Malt? What about rice, sorgum, buckwheat beers? Yeast seems to be a given, as does fermentation, except that suggests the inclusion of a wider range of beverages. How about the process of brewing, then? I cannot even state this with certainty, especially when I think of traditional brewing methods around the world. I find the discussion on Nordic brewing fascinating (as in this essay via Larsblog, http://www.garshol.priv.no/blog/208.html). The sudden rise of kveik seems to have opened a renewed sense of interest and attention to this area of the world, and I am all for it! Beer Advocated reported upon chicha some time back (https://www.beeradvocate.com/articl...neous-fermentations-from-perus-sacred-valley/), which led me to think of its inclusion in the pantheon of what we would consider beer, at least for our purposes of advocacy. But what got me thinking about this particular question on this very night was reading about the wide variety of pre-conquest fermented beverages in Mexico. The article, in Spanish, describes nine popular styles and how to brew them (https://www.animalgourmet.com/2020/07/31/nueve-fermentados-mexicanos-y-como-se-hacen/). Some I've had, some I haven't, and a few of them I've even attempted to make. I want to try all of them! But--are they beer? If so, back to the question that started this post: what makes them beer?