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Davis, California

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Sudwerk’s local brews recognized at state fair, competitions

Sudwerk Brewery is ready for Yolo County to be associated with more than just agriculture and cows. It’s time for people to think of award-winning brews when they think of Davis, Calif.

Davis’ only brewery, Sudwerk, located on Second Street at Pole Line, recently won a gold medal at the California state fair for their pilsner.

“They are consistent winners,” said J.J. Jackson, Commercial Craft Brewing Competition organizer, who hosts the state fair’s brewing contests each year.

At the Sept. 19 California Brewers Festival, Sudwerk won a gold medal for their Helles, a European-style white lager. Overall, they won best in show at the festival.

“We beat out all the big names,” said Trenton Yackzan, Sudwerk’s brew office manager. “That was exciting.”

Other breweries such as Sierra Nevada, Samuel Adams and Pyramid won in other categories at the Brewers Festival, but Sudwerk received the highest recognition with Best of Show.

Andy Sparhawk, craft beer program coordinator at the Brewers Association, said that California can make a mean beer, and isn’t surprised Sudwerk is winning awards.

“Northern California is home to some of the best breweries in the country,” Sparhawk said. “It is a huge mecca for amazing craft beer.”

Within California, there are distinctions. Southern California is known for its hoppy beers, while the northern part of the state is more diverse with wild yeast beers and sour styles of beer, Sparhawk said.

Sudwerk follows traditional German brewing methods – even visiting Germans have told the Davis brewery that the beers taste just like they do back in Deutschland, said Yackzan.

“A lot of people taste the beer and love it and say they had never heard of us,” Yackzan said. “Or they thought we had gone out of business.”

Sudwerk has been in business for the past 20 years.

The brewery’s weekly Wednesday dollar pint nights are gaining popularity with the college crowd in Davis. Yackzan is working with local bars to offer Sudwerk’s ales.

“If you [were to] go around Davis to a lot of bars, I want people to be demanding [Sudwerk beers],” he said. “We want it to be like what Sierra Nevada is to Chico.”

As the brewery celebrates its 20th year of local brewing, Sudwerk hopes that people try to shop locally to bolster the economy and drink locally, too. All Sudwerk beer is brewed on-site in Davis. Anyone can take a tour at Sudwerk to witness the beer-brewing process behind the scenes – even under 21-year-olds, said Yackzan.


SASHA LEKACH can be reached at city@theaggie.org.


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