If you haven’t heard of Lance Rice yet, give the video above a watch. Lance is a beer historian who can trace the roots of the American brewing movement with stunning detail. Want to know what day of the week a brewery opened? Lance is the guy to ask—and he doesn’t need a book for reference.
Lance lives within the spectrum of autism, and he recently decided to embark on an epic journey to help raise awareness about the complex developmental disability. Here’s how it’s going down: The initial goal is for Lance to visit as many breweries as possible across the country, a trip called Lance’s Brewery Tour (he’s already hung out with the teams at Dogfish Head, Brooklyn, Yuengling and Boston Beer Co.). Lance plans to couple his new research with his already vast knowledge to author a book on the country’s past and present brewing culture. A film crew is tagging along to record this nearly 40-year dream of his, and will use the footage in a forthcoming documentary about the tour. The hope is to generate enough proceeds from the book and documentary to form the Lance’s Room charity, which will provide financial aid for the vocational training and college education of other autistic Americans.
So what can you do to help? You can start by sharing the video and the link to the Lance’s Brewery Tour homepage. Lance teamed up with some notable breweries, like MillerCoors, Rogue, Bell’s, Victory and New Holland, but he’s also hoping for donations to keep the trip moving along (a PayPal link is on the site). Keep an eye on his Facebook page: There you’ll stay up-to-date on his story, and see quite a few famous brewing faces along the way.
Lastly, follow the progress of the tour, book and film on Lance’s Twitter account: @LanceKnowsBeer.