Why is some alcohol referred to as "hard"?

It's an ancient Germanic word, so old that one of its first recorded uses is in "Beowulf," a 700-year-old epic poem. 

Because it is so old, the word has taken on a variety of meanings.

 It can refer to someone who is solid and unyielding, rough and abrasive, or obstinate.

Every year, 3 million people die as a result of problematic alcohol use around the world, accounting for 5.3 percent of all deaths.

More than 200 diseases and injuries have been linked to the inappropriate use of alcohol.

Alcohol is responsible for 5.1 percent of the worldwide burden of disease and injury