Homebrewing legend Byron Burch, co-founder of Santa Rosa’s The Beverage People store, will offer a lecture on the history of various beer styles and lessons on food pairings at a dinner Aug. 23 at Woodruff’s Artisan Foods & Café in Sebastopol at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 each, plus tax and tip. But you better get on it, because there are only 38 seats available for the dinner. Ticket details and menu details are on Woodruff’s Facebook page.
Byron has been brewing at home since 1970s, when the hobby was primitive and difficult indeed – and still illegal thanks to an oversight in the law that repealed Prohibition, legalizing home wine making but forgetting to mention beer. Congress and President Carter fixed that problem in 1978, leading to the current boom in home brewing. He and Nancy Vineyard started the store as Great Fermentations and switched to “The Beverage People” in 1993, adding some other fermented products, including cheese, over the years.
Here’s a link to the catalog from 2010 when Byron announced he was retiring from day-to-day operation of the story. It’s full of his reminiscences of the early days.
He’s also author of “Brewing Quality Beers: The Home Brewer’s Essential Guidebook.”