Thanks to the generosity of the brewing industry, including many University of California, Davis, alumni, a new endowment fund has been created in honor of brewing scientist and Professor Emeritus Michael J. Lewis to support students in the campus’s brewing science program.
In fall 2008, a $30,000 gift from Anheuser-Busch to benefit brewing science students served as the catalyst for the fund. Charles Bamforth, who has headed the UC Davis brewing science program for the past 10 years and holds the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professorship of Malting and Brewing Sciences, suggested that the gift might best be used to fund an endowment in Lewis’ honor.
“I thought an endowment would be an appropriate way to recognize the many contributions Professor Lewis has made to his students and to the brewing industry,” Bamforth said. “It also gives his former students an opportunity to honor and thank Michael through a gift to the fund.”
Lewis served as a faculty member in the Department of Food Science and Technology for more than 30 years and built UC Davis’ brewing science curriculum from a mere idea to a thriving program with a worldwide reputation for excellence.
He earned bachelors and doctoral degrees in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, England, in 1957 and 1960. He was a research biochemist at Roswell Park Memorial Institute in New York before coming to UC Davis as a researcher in 1962.
Although lecture classes in brewing science were offered in the 1950s at UC Davis, it wasn’t until Lewis arrived that a comprehensive brewing program began to take shape. Under his leadership, the program emphasized yeast fermentation science and the study of the complex processes involved in converting malted barley and hops into beer.
Lewis, who retired in 1994, has authored more than 100 scholarly papers and co-authored the flagship text “Brewing.” He has been honored with the Award of Merit of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas and is a fellow of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in London. He received a UC Davis Distinguished Teaching Award in 1989 and remains active as the lead instructor for brewing classes offered through University Extension.
Anyone who would like to honor Lewis by contributing to the endowment fund can make an online gift at: http://giving.ucdavis.edu/mjlewis.
More information about the brewing program or giving to the Department of Food Science and Technology can be obtained by contacting Melissa Haworth in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at