Lance's Brewery Tour begins today at Great Lakes Brewing Company.
The project is an emotional and joyous one for all involved. Lance Rice has lived with autism his whole life. In 1974, he started collecting beer cans, and it's safe to say his life hasn't been the same since. This summer, his nephew and best friend, Aaron, is taking him on a tour of the great breweries of the Midwest. These are iconic places in Lance's world - places he's never dreamed of being able to go.
Aaron and his crew will be making a documentary about the trip in an effort to highlight the realities of autism. The whole story behind the filming process and Lance's collection is pretty amazing. Here's a sample from our convo with Rice back in April:
He first started collecting beer cans in 1974. It was because his younger brother started collecting them and he just copied. He thought it was fun and that it would be fun for a summer, and then it just kinda stuck and he never let go of collecting beer cans and learning about beer memorabilia - buying and memorizing beer books. Forty years later and here we are: It’s been the scope of his whole life.
His collecting ranges from the history of canned beer itself all the way through the modern breweries. Any time a major brewery puts out a new can or a new product or they can their beer in a different way, he has it. If they change the label of a Miller Lite can just slightly—update a copyright, change a logo—he goes and get it, taps it on the bottom and drains it, keeps the top intact and then files it in his collection. His collection is international and it probably ranges easily 100 years of beer cans back through the history of when they started putting beer in, you know, steel containers.