Some 49,000 people came to Denver for the 2012 Great American Beer Festival, which featured a record 2,700 beers in the festival hall. Bill Chappell/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Bill Chappell/NPR

Kiuchi Brewery vice president Youichi Kiuchi holds a bottle of his company's Hitachino Nest beer. To make beer, the brewery is using equipment that once was used for sake. Lucy Craft/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lucy Craft/NPR

Ahead of Oktoberfest, Munich's brewers say they're running short of bottles and kegs for the festival's beer. Here, glass beer steins are seen at last year's Oktoberfest. Johannes Simon/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Johannes Simon/Getty Images

President Barack Obama enjoys a beer at The Pump House in Cedar Falls, Iowa, this month, but would you like to know what's in his homebrew? There's a petition for that. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP

President Barack Obama gets a beer and a pork chop as he visits the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Earlier, the president gave a man at a coffee shop a bottle of the White House's home brew. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Craft brewers are reaching markets far from their home breweries. In a Washington, D.C., store, beers from California, Colorado, Louisiana, Vermont, and elsewhere are for sale. Bill Chappell/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Bill Chappell/NPR

A row of taps highlights specialty and imported beers at Brouwerij Lane, in Brooklyn, New York. Craft brewers have found a way to thrive, even as the U.S. economy struggles. Bill Chappell/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Bill Chappell/NPR

Actor Jon Hamm in a scene from AMC's Mad Men. The show is set in the 1960s — but today, many companies provide their employees with ready access to alcohol. Ron Jaffe/AMC/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Ron Jaffe/AMC/AP

Quidi Vidi's lager is brewed with 25,000-year-old water harvested from Newfoundland's icebergs. Courtesy of Quidi Vidi hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Quidi Vidi