UC Davis and Sierra Nevada Brewing. January 2012

I have an avid and unfulfilled interest in brewing and beer. My job has been a very demanding experience for the last ten years - especially the last five and most definitely the last two. For three years I attempted to take Ron Smiths BJCP class and could not finish them. Ten evening sessions in ten consecutive weeks. With call and late days this could not be done. However, during the three years I managed to take each of the ten classes (5,5,3) and somehow passed the BJCP exam two years ago. For the past two years I have been wanting to take some additional beer/brewing classes but our schedule at work would not permit this. With my two oldest children in college now and  my youngest in high school our vacation schedules are all different. While this precludes some family vacations is does allow me some personal time off in 2012. I was able to take a week off and go to UCD for an "Introduction to Practical Brewing" class. I had attended a lecture on Brewing Chemistry last April at Indiana University by UCD professor Dr. Charles Bamforth and was very impressed - I had a great time. He mentioned some classes given at UCD and I became more interested but there were time conflicts. Until this January.- a cheap flight - a little room and a great class.

I arrived too early to check in so I went to the brewpub. German-American cuisine, good lagers and a 49ers game.

The original Sudwerk brewing system - Still in use - surrounded by the bar.

Fives hours to wait - Had all seven house beers.

View from my seat.

Restaurant side view. Something about copper.


Checked in, unpacked, slept well with the good food and beer in me and the benefit of a three hour time change. Got up early (another benefit of a three hour time difference) and found UCD campus and where my class was to be held. Use the above landmark a lot to prevent me from getting lost. Lots of bikes (bicycles) here - pretty cool.

Classes were full day and consisted of lab, lecture, class brewery and a visit to a working brewery . Lots of Chemistry and Bio-Chem. Lots of information.

Studying Hops

Studying Malt

"Off- Flavors" Sampling

Willamette half flower

Brewing a "Class Beer" -

UCD teaching brew system. 

School's fermenters

Our class' "Aggie Ale" in the fermenter.

Dr. Bamforth and our class photo.

Dr. Bamforth pouring during Sensory Analysis,

Visited the main lab - Graduate Students were selling these - how cool!

After lecture we visited Sudwerk Brewery for a tour - seemed a little familiar.

Rear entrance.

Sudwerk Fermenters

Filtration Lecture

Sudwerk's Bottling Room.


Post Class Trip to Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA <-click here.


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