Chris Lohring founded Notch Brewing in 2010. The company's lineup includes a Czech pilsner, a Belgian saison and an India pale ale. All of the brews are session beers — meaning their alcohol by volume, or A.B.V., is less than 5 percent. Courtesy of Notch Brewing hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Notch Brewing

Nicholas Komninos (from left), Anthony Pernisi and Ashlee Doele are among the 25 students who signed up for the first suds-specific class in Paul Smith's College's new minor in craft beers. It's a three-credit course in brewing, replete with labs and lectures. Joe Conto/Courtesy Paul Smith's College hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Conto/Courtesy Paul Smith's College

Before opening a plant in North Carolina in early 2014, Sierra Nevada took water samples from all over the region and analyzed them. It realized it needed to add salt and prepare for fermentation. Steve R/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Steve R/Flickr

John Stuart (left) of Green Man Brewery grabs a Tater Ridge mash sample from Sierra Nevada's Scott Jennings (center) at the Sierra Nevada brewery in Mills River, N.C. Courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sebastian Zutant is the owner of The Red Hen restaurant in Washington, D.C. He's also a sommelier. He and a friend at DC Brau have developed their own beer-wine mashup. Allison Aubrey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Allison Aubrey/NPR

Boulevard Brewing's lineup includes seven year-round beers, five seasonal beers and 13 beers in its Smokestack series. Frank Morris/KCUR hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Morris/KCUR

Todd Fadel, at piano, leads singers at a recent gathering of Beer & Hymns at First Christian Church Portland. John Burnett/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John Burnett/NPR

Meg Gill is the president and co-founder of Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. Her brewery is favored to win awards at the Great American Beer Festival. Melissa Kuypers/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Melissa Kuypers/NPR