News UC Davis Brewing Pioneer Dr. Michael Lewis Launches Scholarship

Dr. Michael J. Lewis, iconic UC Davis brewing professor and founder of the UC Davis Master Brewers Program, has launched the Michael and Sheila Lewis Scholarship in Brewing, a merit-based award that recognizes academic and professional success in the industry.

The scholarship, which is funded by a $75,000 endowment created by Lewis and his family, will provide recipients with support to attend the in-person UC Davis Master Brewers Certificate Program.

“The US brewing industry and the University of California gave me the opportunities to do what I did, fostered the professional life it has been my privilege to live and sustained my family,” said Lewis. “This endowed scholarship is my way of recognizing and celebrating that fact and providing similar opportunities to a new generation of brewers.”

Lewis joined the UC Davis Food Science and Technology faculty in 1964, where he designed the brewing courses that laid the foundation for the university’s legendary brewing program. He also taught many short courses through UNEX (later CPE) including the immensely successful course “Intensive Brewing Science for Practical Brewing.” This was the direct predecessor in the mid-90s of the UC Davis Master Brewers Certificate Program at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education (CPE). Nearly a thousand professional brewers have graduated from the Master Brewers Certificate Program and gone on to work at or found some of the nation’s most respected breweries, including Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Anheuser-Busch/In Bev, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, North Coast Brewing Company and Sudwerk Brewing Company, in Davis.

The Michael and Sheila Lewis Scholarship in Brewing will provide a partial scholarship to the UC Davis Master Brewers Certificate Program in 2024 with the intent that full scholarships will be offered as the endowment matures. Scholarship winners will be known as Lewis Scholars.

“I am delighted that the brewing program that I initiated 60 years ago here in Davis has not merely survived but, because of my efforts and the efforts of those who followed me, has become a mecca for brewing instruction and research in the Americas,” said Lewis

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