Sudwerk is a restaurant and brewery in Davis, California. It has been crafting German-style lagers since 1989. It was a pioneer of lager in microbrewing, following the strict requirements of the German Reinheitsgebot, and it continues to specialize in craft lagers.
The beer products made by Sudwerk brewery include California Dry Hop Lager, which was created by replacing the German hops with Pacific Northwestern hops in the recipe of the Helles Lager, Northern Pilsner, Märzen Amber Lager, and Hefeweizen Bavarian Wheat, which are each brewed using the same family recipes originally brought to California by Sudwerk’s first German Brewmeister, Cascaderade India Pale Lager and 3 Best Friends, which were the first two experimental 22oz. West Coast Lagers, seasonal beer Mai Bock Spring Lager in spring, Fest Harvest Lager in fall, and Doppel Bock Ulimator in winter.
Ron Broward and Dean Unger founded Sudwerk in 1989. It was the first brewpub in Davis, and the only one there until the 2015 opening of another brewpub, the Three Mile Brewing Company. By 1993, when it went through a major expansion, Sudwerk had become the largest microbrewery in the US. Jay Prahl was hired as brewmaster in 2003, and Broward and Unger sold off the associated restaurant in 2006. After the two founders died in 2011 and 2013, the brewery was sold to Unger's grandson Trent Yackzan and his friend Ryan Fry, who quickly promoted long-time employee Mike Hutson to brewmaster. In 2015, they began distributing their beer to states outside California, beginning in Missouri. The restaurant which operated independently from the brewery closed at the end of June, 2016.
Sudwerk won five medals, including one gold, at the 2013 California State Fair Craft Beer Competition.
The brewery maintains close ties to the University of California, Davis, where Prahl and Hutson were educated, and its facilities include classrooms used by extension classes at UC Davis.