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Posted by: Cari Pace on 11/20/2014

Sudwerk Brewing Company

Sudwerk Brewing Company

Sudwerk Brewing Company - Foams Over with Fun & Bodacious Brews

Cari Lynn Pace, Best of Bay Area


I’m a wine wanderer, and I admit I’d never been to a real beer brewery.  At the invitation of Sudwerk co-owner Ryan Fry we checked out the tasting bar and factory in Davis – what a kick!  Behind the painted roll-up door was the bar with the chalkboard of today’s seasonal offerings.  We were given five small glasses of their handcrafted varieties all set up on a platter.  We compared sips back and forth, learning whether our taste buds favored bitters or hops.  Roshy, our bar brew educator, introduced the characteristics of each different brew, whether citrus or salty or chocolate or malty -  just as one would expect in a winery.  She smilingly explained ales v. lagers, and what IBU (International Bitterness Units) ratings indicate.   Did you know that the Pilgrims on the Mayflower made an earlier-than-planned stop in the New World, as they had run out of beer?  They knew beer to be safer than water for drinking on board.  If their hogshead barrels hadn’t run dry, the Pilgrims might kept sailing and founded our country in sunny Florida!

Sudwerk began with the recipes of California’s first German Brewmeister for their three authentic Bavarian beers using German hops: Northern Pilsner, Märzen Amber Lager, and Hefeweizen Bavarian Wheat.  Recently, Sudwerk created a recipe substituting Pacific Northwestern hops to make their unique California Dry Hop Lager.  They continue experimenting as their success grows, and their American lagers sell out.

Weekdays, when there’s an extra Sudwerk helper around, you can get an informal tour of the beer making facility, including the tanks, bottling plant, and packing line.  Check out their colorful hand painted roll-up doors while you’re enjoying your brew.  Everyone at this family-and-friend owned company obviously loves working here.  Even Adam, the IT guy, was happy to show us around the barrels. 

On a sunny day, Sudwerk is “social central” around the picnic tables and umbrellas in their parking lot.  It’s a community hub for this college town, mingling locals, tourists, soccer teams, kids and dogs.  The company has raised over $18,000 for local charities with their “fun-raisers” and donations.  Grab a beer, bring a lunch (or order one to go at the adjacent Sudwerk Restaurant, (530) 758-8700) and play foosball, ping pong, or sneak away for a quiet chat in their barrel room.  Fridays and Saturdays, Sudwerk jumps with live music; check their website for details.

Sudwerk Brewing Tasting Room is open Tuesday 5 to 8 PM, Thursday and Friday 4 to 8 PM, and weekends from noon to 6 PM.  Catch varieties of handcrafted beers, kegs, 32-or 64-ounce stainless steel growlers, and tastings ($8 for a daily selection of 5 seasonal brews).


Sudwerk Brewing Tasting Room

2001 2nd Street 

Davis CA 95618 

Phone (530) 756-BREW (2739)