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Food for Thought: The Brewmasters

  • Raphael Delgado Studio 1200 S Street Sacramento, CA, 95811 United States (map)

Listen to the podcast of this event.

We're running a monthly series called "Food for Thought," in-depth conversations with groundbreakers who run farms, restaurants, wineries, breweries and bars around California and are shaking up the way we eat and drink.

Our fourth talk is with the Brewmasters, two people who've won lots of awards for creating some of some of the best craft beer to come out of Northern California.

One is a seasoned vet who helped a small Chico-based brewery grow into a billion-dollar company. The other is a young whippersnapper who, 13 months after moving his beers from the garage into a professional setup, won two gold medals at the California State Fair.

To celebrate Octoberfest, we drank some pints and celebrated California craft beer with two people who helped to make it famous.

* Steve Dresler - the just-retired Brewmaster of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., who has overseen the development and production of almost all of its new beers for more than 30 years, and has won the the brewery eight World Beer Cup awards and 31 Great American Beer Fest medals during that time.

* Michael Mraz - the owner and founder of Mraz Brewing Company in El Dorado Hills, who went from homebrewer to superstar homebrewer (he was crowned Homebrewer of the Year at the California State Fair just two years after starting the hobby), then went from professional brewer to superstar professional brewer in 13 months (he won two gold medals for his Belgian Tripel and red ale at the CA State Fair).

We're doing "Icebreakers," mini-podcasts that we upload in advance of our live Groundbreaker events (which are always recorded and uploaded as podcasts). In advance of this event, we're sitting down in the recording studio with a few other people who also do groundbreaking stuff in the beer industry, including:

* J-E Paino of Ruhstaller Beer explains why his is the only brewery in California, besides the mega-big Sierra Nevada Brewing, to grow its own hops.
* Charlie Bamforth, Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at UC Davis, also known asthe "Pope of Foam," discusses how his department and its research has shaped the production of California's craft beer.
* Kate Whelan, director of Sacramento Beer Week, talks about how women are shaking up the beer industry.
* Glynn Phillips, owner of Rubicon Brewing Company, talks about the rise and fall of Sacramento's oldest craft brewery, and why he closed Rubicon 1.5 months before it marked its 30th anniversary.