Tyramine, a frequent amine in wines, is produced from tyrosine by the tyrosine decarboxylase (TDC) activity of bacteria. The tyramine-producing strain Lactobacillus brevis IOEB 9809 isolated from wine and the reference strain L. brevis ATCC 367 were studied. At the optimum pH, 5.0, Km values of IOEB 9809 and ATCC 367 crude extracts for L-tyrosine were 0.58 mM and 0.67 mM, and Vmax was higher for the wine strain (115 U) than the ATCC 367 (66 U). TDC exhibited a preference for L-tyrosine over L-DOPA as substrate. Enzyme activity was pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (PLP)-dependent and it was stabilized by the substrate and coenzyme. In contrast, glycerol and β-mercaptoethanol strongly inhibited TDC. Tyramine competitively inhibited TDC for both strains. Citric acid, lactic acid and ethanol had an inhibitory effect on cells and crude extracts, but none could inhibit TDC at the usual concentrations in wines.