Charlie Bamforth the Pope of Foam Joins Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

In the studio: Charlie Bamforth, UC Davis’ Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences, prepares to go in front of the camera to record one of his four courses that comprise UC Davis Extension’s Online Beer Quality series. (Joe Najera/UC Davis)

Chico, CA—Brewing and malting scientist Charlie Bamforth, known as the “Pope of Foam” for his extensive research, will join the staff at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., the brewery announced Wednesday. Bamforth will hold the role of of Senior Quality Advisor.

Bamforth has been a fixture in the brewing world for decades. He retired from his position as Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at the University of California, Davis, in December 2018, but intends to remain active in the industry he loves.

“It would have been very easy to have completely retired after leaving UC Davis,” said Bamforth. “However, when [Sierra Nevada founder] Ken Grossman invited me to be a part of the brewing company that has impressed me hugely for so long, I just could not miss the opportunity. I am proud and delighted to have accepted this role.”

At Sierra Nevada, Bamforth will evaluate all areas of production and provide input to the brewery’s “highest quality” mission.  He will also provide employee training focused on beer quality.

“Charlie brings an amazing level of scientific depth, teaching and lecturing expertise, but he also brings a deep and practical understanding of the challenges inherent in operating a brewery,” said Grossman. “I believe that there is always room for improvement; adding Charlie to the team is another way to ensure that Sierra Nevada provides the finest quality beer.”

Bamforth has written and lectured extensively about the science of malting and brewing.  Most recently, his research has focused on the wholesomeness of beer.  He has also done a great deal of work related to beer quality, including work on foam stability and oxidation prevention.

Before joining the UC Davis facility in 2005, Bamforth served as Director of Research at Brewing Research International in the 1990s, prior to which he worked at Bass Brewery.

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