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By Dave Jones on March 17, 2020

In Praise of Beer

Book cover and Bamforth mugshot

  • By Charles W. Bamforth, Distinguished Professor emeritus, the university’s inaugural Anheuser Busch Endowed Chair in Malting and Brewing Science
  • Oxford University Press, Feb. 3, 2020

“Bamforth delivers the goods as always, but leavened by wry humor, hard-won experience, a whiff of carnality and more than a little love.” — Garrett Oliver, brewmaster, The Brooklyn Brewery and editor of The Oxford Companion to Beer


The latest book on beer from UC Davis’ “Pope of Foam,” Charles “Charlie” Bamforth, Distinguished Professor emeritus in the Department of Food Science and Technology, a faculty member for 20 years and the first to hold the Anheuser Busch Endowed Chair in Malting and Brewing Science.

His publisher describes In Praise of Beer as “a helpful guide for beer lovers looking to learn more about what they should look for with each sip of beer.” Bamforth examines beer and beer consumption “with the knowledge of an expert and the tone of a young beer enthusiast,” spoken like any of the thousands of students he taught on campus from 1999 until his retirement in 2018.

Tiago Brandão, of the European Brewing Convention and the Super Bock Group, also spoke to Bamforth’s teaching career, writing in a review: “Bamforth’s work was enough to earn him a reputation as one of the most renowned brewing science professors, but this book explains why the ‘B’ in Beer, apart from its origins in Brewing, also has something to do with Bamforth!”

In Praise of Beer includes the following chapter titles: Perceptions, Processes, Shopping, Bars, Beer Talk, Dining and Business, as well as recommendations for further reading.

Bamforth has published more than 300 papers and articles and has written or edited more than 20 books. Since January 2019, he has been senior quality advisor to Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

And he’s still affiliated with UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education, where the online Beer Quality Series comprises Bamforth’s courses on flavor, foam, color and clarity, and freshness, and, coming this summer, course No. 5, on quality systems.