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Davis, California

Saturday, September 18, 2021

International Education: Charles Bamforth

The campus is celebrating International Education Week through Friday. International Education Week, hosted on campus by University Outreach and International Programs (UOIP) is a national event organized by the Department of State and Department of Education to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

This year, UOIP is promoting how international experience has impacted members of the campus community and will be sharing a profile each day of the week from a faculty member, a staff member and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.

I won’t name the country, but there is one culture where the brewers tend to be somewhat insular: They are convinced that they know what is best and they feel theirs is the only way to brew great beer.

Admittedly their beers are good — but to my mind, not as good or as diverse (and thereby fascinating) as they could be. A whizz around the world is the only way to get a genuine perspective of what all that beer means in so many different cultures. Only then is it possible to get a fair-minded and reasonable take on the abundance that is beer and to fully understand the endless possibilities that exist for the production of ales and lagers to delight the customer.

In my almost 35-year career in and around the brewing industry, I have rejoiced in pretty much every beer culture on the planet. I have partaken in genuine beer reverence in the homes of Belgian connoisseurs, with their insistence on exactly the right glass for every beer brand. I have witnessed the only breweries that ferment their beer continuously (New Zealand). I have rejoiced in the most sublime (to my perspective) food-drink coupling there could ever be within the restaurants of India. I have sipped alcohol-free beer in Saudi Arabia. I have witnessed firsthand the surge of the beer market in China, delighted in the original Oktoberfest in Germany (in September, of course) and partaken of traditional sorghum-based brews in Africa. And so much more.

We have brewery technical meetings across the globe — from Sydney to Singapore, from Hanoi to Hawaii, from London to Luxembourg. They give opportunities to share experiences, to present data for critical debate, to understand local business stresses and imperatives. What a way to get under the skin of the local community in the very best sense of the term.

Brewing is global. To closet oneself away with the conviction that you know it all is to stagnate. I came halfway around the world to live my dream. And I have been several times around the globe in my determination to keep the dream alive.

For a full list of International Education Week events, visit uoip.ucdavis.edu/iew.

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