2. ...but there are many styles of beer.
3. Jimmy Carter is the patron saint of beer in America.
4. Color does not determine the type or style of beer you're drinking.
5. An "imperial" beer is any beer style that's been turned up to 11.
• Imperials were once beers made in one country for shipment to another. The added hops and alcohol ensured the beer tasted like itself at the end of its journey; the higher alcohol prevented spoilage.
• In the age of craft beer, it means the brewer increased the beer's ABV. Often, extra hops or extra malt (sometimes two or three times as much) are added to balance the flavor.
6. The history of the IPA — America's new favorite style of beer.
7. Brewing beer is not magic, but yeast might be.
8. Yeast is a fungus that poops alcohol.
• You read that right. Yeast eats sugars and produces alcohol as a waste byproduct.
• The takeaway: Alcohol is literally the shit.
Everyone describes beer as "hoppy" or "malty" but what are hops and malts really?
9. Hops are the flowers of the climbing hop vine, which can grow 25 feet tall.
• Hops make beer bitter and give it that beer smell.
• Grapevines make wine; hop vines make beer.
• The takeaway: The vine is one plant that definitely likes to party.
11. Taking tasting notes is the best way to understand what you like (and don't like!) in beer.
• There's a formalized system for describing how beer is to drink. It's not snobby — it's smart.
• Here's a no-nonsense guide to the basics of tasting.