Charlie Bamforth joins Sierra Nevada after retiring from UC Davis

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by zid, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,419) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

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  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,394) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “However, when [Sierra Nevada founder] Ken Grossman invited me to be a part of the brewing company that has impressed me hugely for so long, I just could not miss the opportunity. I am proud and delighted to have accepted this role.”

    At Sierra Nevada, Bamforth will evaluate all areas of production and provide input to the brewery’s “highest quality” mission. He will also provide employee training focused on beer quality.

    “Charlie brings an amazing level of scientific depth, teaching and lecturing expertise, but he also brings a deep and practical understanding of the challenges inherent in operating a brewery,” said Grossman. “I believe that there is always room for improvement; adding Charlie to the team is another way to ensure that Sierra Nevada provides the finest quality beer.”

    Yup, Charlie is indeed a wealth of knowledge and brewing industry experience. From his days working at a commercial brewery (e.g., Bass) to his most recent stint at University of California, Davis.

    Cheers to Ken Grossman for his wise decision to recruit Dr. Charlie Bamforth!!

  3. KCUnited

    KCUnited Initiate (193) Nov 11, 2014 Illinois

    Thoroughly enjoy listening to Charlie on the various podcasts I've caught him on. His level of knowledge and candid humor make for a great interview. Been meaning to sit down with one of his books at some point. This sounds like a solid pairing.
  4. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,371) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    I'm a fan of Dr. Bamforth and I'm not the type to be much of a fan of anybody. Good move on Sierra's part.
  5. StJamesGate

    StJamesGate Poo-Bah (4,616) Oct 8, 2007 New York

    I was fortunate enough to see him speak in Dublin last week - humble, funny, and incredibly knowledgeable on the chemistry of beer.

    Great move by Sierra.
  6. SierraTerence

    SierraTerence Initiate (170) Mar 14, 2007 California

    Made my day when I heard he was coming aboard.
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  7. M-Fox24

    M-Fox24 Meyvn (1,041) Mar 17, 2013 New Jersey

    Brief update on Dr. Bamforth, as “he continues to work energetically on projects related to beer”

    Catching Up with Beer Master Charlie Bamforth
    • Launched a lecture series called Everyday Guide to Beer
    • Released his latest book In Praise of Beer (Oxford University Press, 2020)
    • A fifth course in his Beer Quality series for brewers with UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education is set to launch this summer with a focus on quality systems
  8. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (137) Feb 25, 2013 California

    If anyone remembers UCDavis brewing prof Michael J. Lewis, I took his malting & brewing course. He paved the way, and after he retired, Charlie took over the program at UCD. I have a few stories to tell........
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,394) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I would be very happy to hear those stories if you are willing to share them.

  10. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (137) Feb 25, 2013 California

    Well, Michael J. Lewis was teaching the IOB's Malting & Brewing Sciences courses at UCDavis. Nearly all the people in the intro course (about 50 students) were professional brewers, and paid quite a premium to take it, but I was an undergrad at UCD and the course was listed in the regular catalog. I was a Viticulture & Enology major at the time (did graduate with that degree), and most of the few UCD undergrads in that course were V&E majors also, maybe 4 of us. Every year several V&E students took Lewis' course and apparently he had built the reputation of grading us lower than everyone else, some sort of anti-wine bias I heard. He knew all the pros in the class as I believe he had a hand in getting them accepted, so I decided I needed to meet him privately and have a story, so I did so and told him I had transferred into UCDavis from Colorado State University as an Agronomy major. All of this was true, and he did indeed like that story (agronomy is science of growing grain crops, which I'm sure would be tender to the heart of any brewer), I just happened to leave out the part that I transferred two years prior and had switched to V&E. I think I got a B, and most of the other V&E majors got Cs.
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  11. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (137) Feb 25, 2013 California

    Here's my other story. Not so much about MJL, but about his IOB program.

    So this would have been during the same brewing course at UCDavis - it would have been either 95 or 96. There's a Budweiser brewery in Fairfield, which is pretty close to Davis. Budweiser invited Michael's entire class to their Christmas party, and they even chartered coaches to take us to and from! It was about as big and as nice as you'd imagine; lots of kegs from Northern Californian breweries who had someone at the party. We were let loose into their production floor, and this was during the time that Bud was advertising the 'beechwood aged' thing. They showed us the beechwood chips - they were boiled and bleached and sanitized to the point where they are totally neutral. We were told the purpose of these beechwood slices was to give surface area for the yeast to adhere to, since their fermenter tankes were so big the yeast would normally all sink to the bottom and not be so efficient. We all had a great time and Bud was very generous and it shows how MJL has deep connections to industry - the same deep connections that's got Bamforth his cushy gig at SN.
  12. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,970) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    AB's been describing their "Beechwood Aging" process like that for well over half a century:
    re: "glass-lined brewing tanks" above. By 1970, the same basic ad's wording was changed to "... glass-lined and stainless steel lagering tanks...".

    I've always been amused by this quote from Wahl & Henius’ American Handy Book of the Brewing, Malting and Auxiliary Trades [1901 ed.]
    "Gee, I wonder why that never caught on, with some heavy promotion..." :grin: I guess it could be seen as "green" today, using recycled beer cans rather than cutting down maple and beech trees...
  13. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (137) Feb 25, 2013 California

    Thanks, Jess, for throwing that in. While it confirms beechwood chips is surface area for yeast to adhere to, the "they help absorb beer's natural "edge", giving Budweiser its finished taste" is utter BS.
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  14. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,970) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Ah, I took that to be typical Ad Man-Speak for the mellowing of "green" beer during the simultaneous lagering period. Or, as The Practical Brewer (Master Brewers Association of the Americas, 1977 ed.) put it, while discussing the process (pg. 248):
    Or as AB's pdf VOL. III -THE BREWING PROCESS phrases it:
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  15. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (137) Feb 25, 2013 California

    that......still sounds like utter bs to me