What is Malt?

Everybody knows what beer is. It is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in Australia.
Fewer people, however, actually know what beer is made from.
Beer contains 4 basic ingredients; Water, Malt, Hops and Yeast. Whilst some other ingredients can be used as well, it can’t really be beer without these ingredients.
Malt provides the fermentable sugars that the yeast will turn into alcohol, in the form of starch. It also provides all of the enzymes required to chop the starch molecules into simple sugars that the yeast can do their work on. As well as all of this, there is a suite of different flavour compounds contributed by the malt, particularly when using roasted or crystal malts.
Malt is also used to make whiskey, and is used in the baking industry to add sweetness to certain food items.