Beer Birthday: Michael Lewis

Today is 80th birthday of Dr. Michael Lewis, who ran the brewing sciences department at U.C. Davis beginning in 1962, and became the Professor Emeritus in 1995, when Charlie Bamforth succeeded him, although Dr. Lewis remains active in teaching and in brewing. He was my instructor, along with Charlie, when I took the brewing short course at Davis a decade or so ago. He’s taught countless working brewers over the years and has greatly influenced the industry as a whole. Join me in wishing Dr. Lewis a very happy birthday.

Michael receiving an award for a lifetime of achievement at the 2008 CBC in San Diego.

Michael with Ruhstaller founder J.D. Paino at Sudwerk (photo from the Davis Enterprise).

Michael (at far left) with the gang at Sudwerk Privatbrauerei in Davis (photo from the Davis Enterprise).


  1. Gary Gillman says

    What a vantage point from which to observe American brewing, late 1950’s until today, it’s somewhat longer than even Fritz Maytag’s run and of course with the benefit of a technical background.

    My questions to him would be:

    In the 50’s and 60’s, where in the world if anywhere did beers exist with a palate impact such as American craft beer has today? England, Germany?

    Did you ever foresee that small-scale brewing would return to the U.S.?

    Why did it take so long for the small brewery resurgence to occur?

    What do you think brewmasters circa-1960 would think of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or any DIPA, would they be shocked?

    What is your view on pasteurization, can you have a real craft beer that is pasteurized?



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