Why Brewing?

Brewing is humankind’s oldest biotechnology. These days it is a sophisticated operation, based on an in-depth understanding derived from a range of scientific disciplines. Yet it retains the charm of an art form appreciated by billions of people the world over.

Some 200 billion liters of beer are brewed worldwide every year, of which more than 11% is brewed in the United States. Anheuser-Busch/Inbev is the biggest brewing company in the world, followed a long way behind (in terms of volume) by Heineken and Carlsberg.

At the other end of the scale, there are the ‘microbreweries’, some of which produce only a few barrels of beer each month.

And in between are some great regional companies, such as Sierra Nevada here in California.

Whether large brewer conglomerates or restaurant-based ’boutique’ breweries, they all benefit from having well-trained, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff. More than 1.7 million people are employed in the brewing industry in the US in some way or another – either producing the beer, growing and processing the key raw materials, making the cans and bottles, marketing the product etc.

Openings within brewing companies include production and production management, Research and Development, Quality Assurance and much more besides. Training in brewing is also relevant to students seeking to enter into other industries, including those within the agricultural and fermentation spheres.


Teaching and research in brewing has been active in the Department of Food Science & Technology at Davis for over sixty years. Many graduates have progressed from Davis to senior technical positions within the North American brewing and supplier scene.

UC Davis presents a premier opportunity for brewing and supplier companies worldwide to interact with a center of excellence second to none. It provides the clearest of openings for a student to develop the core skills needed for entry into the brewing profession or the related businesses of malting and raw material supplies. UCD operates a multi-skilled program of training and research second-to-none.



FST3 Introduction to Beer and Brewing
Over ten weeks of twenty 1-5 hour lectures the student is led through a basic description of brewing and associated processes, from raw materials to the final product; the history of brewing and brewing science; types of beer worldwide; world beer markets; the basics of beer quality, including safety and wholesomeness; and the role of scientist in brewing. Guest lecturers come from large and small brewing companies. Since the Spring Quarter of 2017 an on-line version of this class (FST3v) has been offered.

FST102A Malting and Brewing Science
In a ten week course of twenty two-hour lectures the student studies everything from the history of brewing, through the nature and politics of the world of brewing, through all aspects of the science and technology of converting barley and hops into packaged beer.

FST102B Practical Malting and Brewing
An opportunity for the student to achieve hands-on familiarity with the processes involved in brewing and to carry out analytical tests on which consistent brewing depends.


Courses, plus pursuit of a research project, an original piece of work which that will familiarize the student with research techniques but which is expected to add to the science base of malting and brewing through publication.


Please address all queries to my successor Glen Fox (https://foodscience.ucdavis.edu/people/glen-fox#/).