Homebrewing Pioneer Byron Burch Dies
One spring evening in 1978, Byron Burch in his Oakland home listened to a young man from Chico, three hours’ drive north, go on excitedly about plans to start a brewery. He had written Burch, seeking advice. Burch was the owner of a homebrewing shop and the author of the highly praised Quality Brewing, which he wrote because he was tired of answering hobbyists’ queries. The young man’s name was Ken Grossman, who did start, and still leads, Sierra Nevada.
Such was the reputation of Burch, who died Aug. 20. He seemed to know everybody in the early days of what came to be called American craft brewing. And he remained clued in for the succeeding decades to the scene he helped ferment.