Spirit stud Chris Dunsmoor rejoins Calla for a full beer 101 episode. Also featured in episode 44, Root Cocktails, Dunsmoor brings in his beer expertise and an extra bit of snark as he and Calla give a comprehensive rundown of how beer is made, the different styles and much (much) more. Pour yourself an extra drink for this one!


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Beer 101 | Learn About Beer | Our Beer Guide (vinepair.com)

Types of Beer: A Complete Guide (2022) | Homebrew Academy

The Truth About the Origins of IPA | The Beer Connoisseur

Study Notes for Beer 101:

*Please note some of these lines might be directly taken from sources noted above.


  • All beer is made from grain, water, yeast, and hops
    • Barley is the most commonly used grain but brewers also experiment with wheat, rye, oats, and more
  • Flavor can be determined by the time its cooked, the strain of yeast, and grains
    • Plus any added flavors
  • HOPS – a cone shaped flower of a tall climbing plant related to cannabis that add clarification and stabilization to impart their signature flavors
    • Can be bitter, astringent, floral, fruity, citrusy
    • Crucial part of IPA


  • Brewing – the practice of regulating the interactions between water, starch, yeast and hps so the end result is beer
  • 1) A starch source, the grain, is malted. (Malting – allowed to partially germinate and then dry which makes for easier conversion of starch to sugar
    • Grains are kilned to stop the malting process or dried and or darkened using a heat source
    • Grains can also be aggressively roasted to impact the flavor (think Stout)
    • Base Malts v Speciality Malts: Specialty malts, like crystal malts, are commonly used as a specialty malt to impart toffee or caramel-like sweetness
      • Black malts – super kilned barley that can be used to darken color or taste
      • Pilsner Malt – base malt
  • 2) Mash Stage – malted grains are introduced to water and heat to start that conversion
  • 3) Lautering – the mash is removed from the solids and the remaining liquid is boiled
    • Hops may be introduced in the beginning or the end depending on the type of beer
    • This liquid is called the wort
  • 4) Filtered wort is cooled to a specific temperature and then the yeast is added to start fermentation
  • 5) Fermentation
  • 6) Boom – Beer.


  • The first known barley beer residue was found in a jar at the Godin Tepe excavation site in modern day Iran dating back to 3400 BC but that doesn’t mean it was the FIRST BEER
  • Most beer was developed best in farm-based, agrarian societies where there was enough grain and time for fermentation
  • People fucking loved beer – Babylonians had about 20 recipes, Egyptian Pharaohs wre buried with it, pyramid builders were paid with it
  • HYMN TO NINKASI – a 3800 year old poem that outlines the steps for brewing
  • Used to be one of the safest drinks because fermentation & heat sanitized the beverage
  • Could be flavored with wild herbs, dates, olive oil, and meadowsweet
    • Gruit – a mixture of herbs and spices used in European beers
  • Prohibition introduced watered-down lighter beer but thanks to Fritz Maytag and Anchor Steam, craft resurged


  • Beer is broken down into two styles: ALES & LAGERS
    • ALE – fermented at warmer temperatures (60-75 degrees F) with top fermenting yeasts and are ready in 2-5 weeks
      • IPAs, Stouts, Wheat Beers
    • LAGER – fermented at lower temperatures (40-50 F) using bottom fermenting yeasts and ar ready in 1-2 months
      • Pilsner, Bocks, Oktoberfests
    • Third Category? Spontaneous Fermentation Beers
      • Brewers pour the wort (unfermented beer) into a vessel and leave the vessel alone so natural fauna in the air settles like wild bacteria and yeast to ferment it
      • Originated in Belgium and include Flanders Red Ale, Belgian Gueuzes
  • There are more than 100 styles of beer and new styles continuously get created
  • PALE ALE – a balance between malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness; typically golden in color
  • INDIA PALE ALE – a pale ale plus some; higher alcohol content and strong hoppy bitterness
    • IBU – International bitterness units; measure of hops
    • American IPA – higher bitterness than an ordinary pale ale – IBU of 50-70
    • Imperial or Double IPA – one of the highest alcohol beers ranging 7-14% ABV; IBU 65-100
    • English IPA – less bitter; IBU 35-63
    • HISTORY: in the late 1700s – early 1800s, England held a large colonial presence in India and those soldiers, sailors, civilians had a huge appetite for beer but the voyage to India was too long and by the time the ship made it there, the traditional beers spoiled
      • Addition of hops helped to preserve the beer for the journey
  • HEFEWEIZEN – not bitter, mild alcohol content, German style
    • Contains high amounts of wheat and yeast
    • Usually has a cloudy appearance
    • Darker variety called Dunkelweizen
    • Filtered version called Kristalweizen
  • PILSNER – American craft breweries deem this one of the most challenging beers to create and originates from Plzen, Czech Republic
    • Type of lager – really crisp finish with refreshing mouthfeel
    • The first pale lager
    • 1838 – Plzen’s town brewmasters rolled 36 barrels of ale into the street, opened them up and spilled the beer in the main square because ales were prone to spoilage either by wild yeasts or bacteria
    • Brewers sent Martin Stelzer off to study breweries in Munich and other parts of Bavaria and returned with plans to build the ideal brewery
    • He also met Josef Groll, a Bavarian brewer who was hired to teach the German lagering method
  • PORTER – Five styles total including the American Imperial, Baltic Style, English, Robust, and Smoke
    • Dark brown, cola like color that originated in England and named after the street and river porters who drink these dark ales
  • STOUT – Dark beer with five categories as well – American Imperial, American, English Style Oatmeal, English Style Sweet or Milk, Irish Style Dry
    • The type of barley used – porters are made with malted barley to achieve their flavors while stouts often used roasted unmalted barley
    • Porters ar a bit lighter and less full bodied
  • SOUR – large umbrella term for any beer that is sour but the ABV and IBU can range widely
    • Loosely defined by the fact that they will always taste acidic and tart