Author Archives: admin

About admin

I am a writer. And a musician/songwriter. And a husband/father. I love good beer, the outdoors, the embrace of family, the company of true friends, the telling of a good story and the inner peace derived from quiet reflection in solitude. Recently I have specialized in beer writing. My most recent adventure is "Virginia Beer: A Guide from Colonial Days to Craft's Golden Age" published fall 2018 by University of Virginia Press. In October 2014, "Richmond Beer: A History of Brewing in the River City" was published by History Press. "Charlottesville Beer: Brewing in Jefferson's Shadow," followed in January 2017. Send me an email at rvabeerguy@gmail.com. As you can see from this site, however, my interests are broader than beer. Spend time, leave a comment or just enjoy. Lee

Persimmon Beer: From African Roots to Southern Icon

             When Ardent Craft Ales in Richmond, Va., used a recipe from a 1700s cookbook to make a batch of persimmon beer in 2014, the effort made international headlines.                “A drink brought back from … Continue reading

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Brewery hit buzzsaw supporting historic Black TV show

It’s easy to imagine the pitch that must have been on the table in the boardroom of Milwaukee’s Blatz Brewing Company in 1951. “Look, boss, the world’s most popular radio program is going to this new format—yes, television. They’re switching … Continue reading

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1930s beer ads teach lessons about Black lives that have mattered throughout history

Note: This article was written in July 2020 during the turmoil following the death of George Floyd and in the light of our ongoing struggle to confront racial issues, particularly Richmond’s monuments to the Confederacy. Among the lessons learned during … Continue reading

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Beer and race: a complex history still playing out

     More than 80 years ago, Reuben Ray and Grady Jackson, both African-Americans, sat in a bar they co-owned in Detroit and wondered why whites, rather than those of their own race, were delivering beer to black businesses on … Continue reading

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Starr Hill adds bright light to RVA’s constellation of breweries

Pardon me if you sense a bit of sentimentality sprinkled in this account. In September 1999, I drove to Charlottesville to interview Mark Thompson for one of my “Beer Guy” columns in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Thompson had moved into a spot on … Continue reading

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Roll out the red carpet for top Virginia beers

Old-timers in the Virginia beer community can remember pitching tents in the woods and meadows of Nelson County as part of the annual ritual to taste and toast the best of craft beers in the Old Dominion. The 2019 Virginia … Continue reading

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The Great New York ‘Bier’ Trials; Or, How Lager Changed America

Jacob Haas got out of bed on Tuesday morning, May 18, 1858, and began the day his usual way—with a glass of beer. As he dressed, his routine continued with another glass. And another. And another. By late morning, he … Continue reading

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Peter and James: The Tale of Two Hemingses

Note: I have long been fascinated by the tale of Peter and James Hemings, brothers and slaves of Thomas Jefferson. This was written as a precursor—a rough rough draft—of a possible screenplay, one I doubt will ever be fully fleshed. … Continue reading

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Beeristoric Tour spotlights RVA beer, past and present

Why are these people grinning? They’re on the Richmond Beeristoric Tour, standing in the courtyard of the former Home Brewing Company, one of the iconic spots in the city’s colorful brewing history. And they’ve just tasted one (maybe two) samples … Continue reading

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O’Connor, GABF medals and more on RVA BEER Show

What’s up with agave in beer? Kevin O’Connor explains the evolution of El Guapo IPA, O’Connor Brewing Company‘s best-selling beer, and Ashley Simard takes a look at the retail beer scene around Virginia on the RVA BEER Show on WRIR 97.3 … Continue reading

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