Michael Lewis

Dr. Michael J. Lewis

Professor Emeritus Michael J. Lewis, Ph.D. F.I. Brew. conducted the program in Brewing Science at the University of California, Davis since 1962. He accepted emeritus status in 1995 but remains active in the profession; he is the academic director of brewing programs in University of California Davis Extension. His accomplishments at U.C. Davis are many, leading to his selection as a Fellow of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (London) in 1985. In 1986 he received the prestigious Award-of-Merit of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA); in 1992 he was invited to be a Senior Member of the International Brewers Guild (London) and is Life Member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists; in 2008 Dr Lewis received the Recognition Award of the  Brewers Association (USA) for service to the industry.

Dr. Lewis has published many scientific papers on brewing topics mostly related to brewing processes including: yeast physiology and fermentation; the behavior of cereal grains in brewing systems; biochemistry of proteins; interrelations among enzyme systems; sensory science (beer flavor). His book “Brewing”, now in several printings, has been well received and a third edition is in the works. Dr. Lewis maintains a busy consulting practice working with brewing companies, with companies who supply brewers’ raw materials and equipment, and with government agencies. Dr Lewis writes a beer column for his local newspaper entitled Point of Brew that celebrates beer in modern life; he appears from time-to-time on TV and radio.

Graduates of Dr. Lewis’ programs are well represented in the brewing industry in the major North American breweries (large and small) as well as in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Dr. Lewis is an outstanding speaker, lecturer and teacher. In 1990 he received the esteemed Distinguished Teaching Award of the University of California.  He has lectured and taught courses by invitation in many parts of the world including Britain, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, New Zealand, Ireland, Japan, Australia and has returned many times to Africa to teach special courses for South African Breweries. Dr. Lewis continues to offer several specialized courses through University of California Extension (UNEX) for different audiences within the brewing industry. These include the accredited five-month Master Brewers Program leading to an internationally recognized professional qualification in brewing science and engineering (the Diploma Examination of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling), and a short (eight-week) form of this program called the Professional Brewers Certificate Program.

Dr. Lewis earned his Ph.D. degree in 1960 in microbiology and biochemistry at the University of Birmingham (England) where he also studied and (later) taught at the British School of Malting and Brewing.  He immigrated to the USA in 1960.  Dr. Lewis has served on the Board of Governors of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas and is a member of the MBAA, the American Society of Brewing Chemists, and the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (London). Dr. Lewis has served the University in several administrative capacities including Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Associate Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.