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Thursday, May 2nd 2013

Beer. Autism. Hope.
Support Lance's Brewery Tour

Note:The following is a piece I put together after speaking with Aaron Rice, the nephew of Lance Rice.

Each New Year’s Eve, Aaron Rice would ask his Uncle Lance about his New Year’s Resolutions. Each year he got the same answer, that his uncle wanted to “get married, have kids, and write his beer book”. Lance Rice is, like many others, a fan of American beer culture and brewing history. Unlike many others, Lance Rice is autistic and he has filed away four decades worth of information about the American brewing industry in his photographic memory. Just like his memory has never faded, neither has his dream of writing his beer book.  Now, at age 55, Lance is being given the chance to make his longtime dream come true and his nephew is helping to make it happen.

(Lance's Brewery Tour | Kickstarter Page)

Aaron, now a Los Angeles-based actor, writer and producer, has launched a project called “Lance’s Brewery Tour”, which will be both a documentary and a book. The focus of the project is on Lance’s knowledge of the American brewing industry and its history while being meshed with the current craft being renaissance. The book, the photography, and the film will all be produced through Lance’s eyes and offer his unique perspective. He will have his own camera and the book will be written through dictation.

While growing up, Lance Rice, like many others with autism, did not talk much and rarely felt comfortable leaving his home. At the age of 16 he pulled a beer can out of a trashcan and started a collection that now numbers around 4,000 and takes up quite a bit of available wall space in his home. Lance not only knows the story behind almost every one of the cans and where he found them but for those he traded for, well, he knows the story behind the person he got them from as well. He has an astounding knowledge of brewing history and about many of the iconic American breweries that have long since closed their doors. Lance has also found a comfort in talking with others who share his passion. It is Aaron’s hope to create Lance’s legacy and to provide inspiration to other families who deal with the challenges of autism. 

Lance Rice, Beer Historian

It is Aaron’s hope that the he and his uncle, along with a small crew, can visit between 50 and 75 breweries over a two- to three-month span. A number of craft breweries such as; Stone Brewing Company, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Rogue, New Belgium Brewing Company, and New Holland Brewing Company have all already extended invitations to the pair and it likely that many more will follow.

Aaron and Lance Rice at Great Lakes Brewing Company

Lance’s Brewery Tour will certainly give viewers and readers a unique perspective into the world of American beer and brewing. The project is currently in pre-production and looking for funding through a Kickstarter campaign. You can learn more about Lance’s Brewery Tour and about Lance Rice by visiting www.lancesbrewerytour.com

Posted by Russ