Maize (corn) is used as the primary source of carbohydrates for some traditional beer-like alcoholic beverages in Latin America and Africa and as an adjunct for mass-market beer production throughout most of the world. While most beer consumers might not recognize these beverages as “beer,” they are fermented beverages made from grain, and are therefore widely referred to as maize beers. Methods for producing traditional maize beer vary widely, and many of them have changed little for thousands of years. These beverages are generally high in solids and may be thicker and more opaque than commercial beers. They are often consumed at various stages during active fermentation, and consequently do not store well. Traditional maize beer provides calories, protein, and B vitamins in the diet. Maize-based diets are often low in niacin, but deficiency symptoms are uncommon in societies that consume a proportion of the crop as maize beer. Specific types of maize are used, and spices are often added to obtain the color, flavor, and consistency desired to satisfy local preferences. The traditional vats that are used for brewing often serve as a source of naturally occurring yeast and bacteria that carry out the fermentation, but starters from previous batches or other catalysts may also be utilized. For many products, lactic acid fermentation is used to sour the malt or mash prior to alcohol fermentation. Alcohol content varies in traditional maize beers, but it is generally in the 2%–3% ABV range. “Chicha” is a common name for indigenous maize beer produced in the Andes and at lower altitudes in Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and Argentina, but the term also refers to beer made from other plants and some nonalcoholic beverages. Coarse maize flour was traditionally chewed by women prior to fermentation, with the enzyme ptyalin (a type of amylase) in their saliva converted starch to maltose and dextrins. Today, maize is most commonly germinated (malted) to produce amylase for starch conversion in chicha production. Maize malt provides ample alpha-amylase but is low in beta-amylase and has limited quantities of other diastatic enzymes present in barley. Chicha plays an important role in family and social life and in religious and cultural ceremonies. Although primarily a cottage industry today, chicha was once made in large, state-owned breweries and was used as a means of currency during the Inca Empire. Other forms of indigenous maize beer in Latin America include tesguino in Mexico and cauim in Brazil. Maize is used to make traditional fermented beverages in many African countries as well. These beers are sour and opaque and are generally served warm. Maize meal and maize malt may also be mixed in various proportions with sorghum and millet, depending on their relative cost and availability and local traditions. Sorghum and millet are indigenous crops and are preferred for malting, but maize is increasingly used as a starchy adjunct for both traditional beer and commercial lager beer production throughout Africa. Although most traditional maize beer is home-brewed, factory production is well established in some countries in eastern and southern Africa.