Change is Brewing
By the 1960s, some Americans were tired of the narrow range of beer styles produced by big breweries. Inspired by European brewing manuals and beers they encountered abroad, homebrewers began to tinker in their kitchens and basements, seeking to make more flavorful beers themselves. Even though brewing beer at home remained illegal following Prohibition’s repeal, homebrewers embraced a do-it-yourself approach in line with other countercultural trends of the day. In the 1970s, the influence of a few important figures converged. Their work in the home kitchen, classroom, and brewery would change the course of beer production and consumption in the United States.
Relax. Don't Worry. Have a homebrew.
Charlie Papazian was a student at the University of Virginia when in 1970 he tasted a beer made by a local homebrewer. That first sip was a revelation to him, and he began to experiment with brewing his own beer. After graduation, Papazian moved to Boulder, Colorado, where he taught brewing classes, wrote books, and founded the American Homebrewers Association, the journal Zymurgy, and the Great American Beer Festival.
Charlie Papazian used basic equipment to homebrew. He wrote his first recipe for homebrewed beer while a student at the University of Virginia.
Papazian self-published this first edition of Joy of Brewing, his brewing manual, in 1976. When the federal government legalized homebrewing in 1978, Papazian founded the American Homebrewers Association to serve as a forum for education and communication among homebrewers across the country.
[M]y business is to teach the bedrock, to teach what every brewer must know in spades.
Biochemist Michael Lewis, an expert on the properties of yeast in brewing, arrived at the University of California at Davis in 1962. The university’s center for the study of winemaking was world-renowned, but its brewing science program was just beginning. Lewis built Davis’s program into a premier center for the study of brewing and became the nation’s first professor of brewing science. Generations of brewers passed through his classroom.
I walked into the brewery and . . . I was home. . . . It’s a wonderworld of basic science.
Fritz Maytag grew up in Iowa, where his father ran the Maytag Washing Machine Company, and he moved to California for college. Restless and yearning for new direction, he jumped at the chance to purchase San Francisco’s struggling Steam Beer Brewing Company (now Anchor Brewing Company) in 1965. With his entrepreneurial roots and zeal for science, he revitalized the brewery, perfecting its “steam beer” recipe and adopting European styles like porter and barleywine. As a self-taught brewer running a small-scale brewery, Maytag inspired many who dreamed of opening their own breweries.