Mash → Boil → Ferment → Condition → Enjoy → Repeat
Mash → Boil → Ferment → Condition → Enjoy → Repeat
Ardent Craft Ales is a brewery, taproom, and beer garden in the Scott's Addition neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia. We began as a co-op in a Richmond garage, a space where we sought to create innovative beers and introduce others to historic brewing methods and beer styles. As a production brewery, our mission remains the same: to produce and celebrate exceptional and ambitious beers with the ever-growing craft beer community.
Making a product we're proud of and delivering it to you is a team effort. Meet the people behind the beer.
Co-Founder, General Manager
Role at Ardent Signing checks and ignoring emails.
Favorite Ardent beer I like the funky stuff.
Favorite non-Ardent beer See above.
Hobbies or interests besides brewing? Sleeping.
Favorite book, movie, band, etc.? Having a favorite thing seems so limiting. I like variety.
Power of flight, or power of invisibility? I reject binary constructions as a general rule. I read that in a book. With lots of pages. Actually I overheard it at a bar and it sounded smart. I’m not sure what it means.
Brewery Production Manager
Role at Ardent Managing brewing operations, creating beer recipes, and providing quality control.
Favorite Ardent beer Company Man
Favorite non-Ardent beer Augustiner Pils
Hobbies or interests besides brewing? Training bonsai trees, and whisky.
Favorite book? The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.
Ability to see 5 minutes into the future, or ability to see 100 years into the future? I would see 5 minutes into the future to always stay one step ahead.
Role at Ardent Providing a welcoming and relaxed environment for guests to gather and enjoy drinking delicious craft beer with their friends and family. Encouraging new friendships, be it dogs, children, or someone you happen to sit next to at a community table. Helping to educate curious folks new to the craft beer experience, or geeking out with the beer nerds.
Favorite Ardent beer Dark Rye. Some would have you believe it’s the Rum Barrel–Aged Dark Rye. But it's not. Although that’s pretty darned good too.
Favorite non-Ardent beer Anything from Potter's or Blue Bee. Wait. Does cider count?
Hobbies or interests besides beer? As a parent of two beautiful children, my hobbies are in the arts and crafts department, as well as soccer and ballet.
Favorite travel destination? So far, Alaska. I have been twice. Driven both times. Once in the summer and once in the winter. Have had the sun shining through my tent at three in the morning, and I have ridden on a dogsled. Drank some really good barleywines and stouts under the aurora borealis.
Unlimited time travel, or unlimited outer space travel? I would have to see a real brachiosaurus up close. Set up a secret brewery during Prohibition. Hang out in Atlantis for a spell. Befriend van Gogh and take painting lessons. Hunt in a buffalo stampede with the Mohegan tribe of Connecticut. Woodstock. And to the future—take a trip to Mars and see what kind of beer the Martians are drinking.
Role at Ardent I hustle our beer to the world.
Favorite Ardent beer Company Man pilsner
Favorite non-Ardent beer Champion’s European Slaycation
Hobbies or interests besides brewing? Competitive dancing
Favorite animal? Goat
Playing with a dozen puppies, or playing with a dozen kittens? Playing with puppies, because I can train them to do my bidding eventually.
Taproom and Events Coordinator, Taproom Server
Role at Ardent Resident answerer of all emails, voice messages, and charity requests. Coordinator of food trucks and organizer of all internal events. And most importantly, chief lover of candy.
Favorite Ardent beer In the summer, Berliner Weisse. In the winter, Earl Grey Brown Ale.
Favorite non-Ardent beer Anything sour and tart.
Hobbies or interests besides beer? Hiking, biking, yoga, indoor plant gardening ... and board games!
Favorite book? The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I first read this book in high school when my father gave me his copy from the 1960s (which I still keep mostly as a memento and have wrapped in a rubber band to keep all the pages together).
Power of flight, or power of invisibility? Power of flight all the way. Having no car and flying as a means of transport would be the BEST.
Role at Ardent Brewing in the warehouse and barrel wrangling out in the donkey barn.
Favorite Ardent beer Tough one. Toss up between Brett Saison and Rum Barrel–Aged Dark Rye.
Favorite non-Ardent beer Currently, Schlenkerla oak-smoked doppelbock.
Hobbies or interests besides brewing? Collecting pictures of strangers and secretly putting them in people's homes.
Favorite sports team? Baseball in general. Except the Braves. They're the worst.
Playing with a dozen puppies, or playing with a dozen kittens? Playing with a dozen donkeys!
Role at Ardent Putting beer in things, taking beer out of things, and cleaning the things that beer goes in and out of.
Favorite Ardent beer Defenestrator
Favorite non-Ardent beer Saison de Rude
Hobbies or interests besides brewing? Falling asleep on the couch with my dog.
Favorite book? A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick.
Playing with a dozen puppies, or playing with a dozen kittens? I’m allergic and a masochist, so I’ll take the kittens.
Role at Ardent Handling the cold side of the production area. I carbonate the beer and put it into either kegs or bottles. I also clean the tanks, kegs, and hoses we use.
Favorite Ardent beer Tokaj barrel sour
Favorite non-Ardent beer BFM Bon-Chien
Hobbies or interests besides brewing? Fantasy sports and Golden Tee
Favorite sports team? Minnesota Vikings and UVA Cavaliers
Ability to teleport, or ability to read minds? Teleport definitely. I'd still probably be late to work but at least there'd be no traffic!
Role at Ardent Keeping the beer moving, bubbly, and in bottles.
Favorite Ardent beer Brett Saison (the Chardonnay Brett Saison with Apricot is my all-time favorite)
Favorite non-Ardent beer Russian River Supplication
Hobbies or interests besides brewing? Canoeing
Favorite sports team? The Atlanta Braves—my dog's name is Chipper Jones.
Playing with a dozen puppies, or playing with a dozen kittens? Puppies! However, I did slightly overcommit to the whole dog thing. Turns out I am probably more comfortable with six. It's a lot, a lot of energy to deal with.
Role at Ardent I spend a decent amount of time with the yeast—counting it, feeding it, tracking how it ferments, trying new ways to make it live longer. And sometimes I clean stuff.
Favorite Ardent beer Company Man
Favorite non-Ardent beer Uhhh ... wine?
Hobbies or interests besides beer? Baking
Favorite book, movie, band, etc.? Change is inevitable in everything. There is no use for having favorites because it'll just change.
Playing with a dozen puppies, or playing with a dozen kittens?? Play with a dozen puppies, because puppies make everything better.
In 2010, Tom Sullivan and Paul Karns launched a homebrewers co-operative and purchased a Sabco half-barrel pilot brewing system to further their brewing knowledge and experience. Tom and Paul had been homebrewers for several years, and while setting up the co-op, they met Kevin O’Leary, who had recently moved to Richmond from Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he served as a brewer at Cambridge Brewing Company. The three men began brewing with other members of the co-op on Sundays in a Church Hill garage, where they opened their doors to members of the local community who were interested in brewing and beer. The community response was overwhelming: week after week, people visited the garage in order to learn about the brewing process and taste various beer styles. As the weeks turned into months, the partners concentrated on recipe development. They reviewed and brewed traditional styles made with traditional ingredients, and then varied the ingredients in order to create beers that reflected these styles but were distinctly their own. To further their knowledge, they attended seminars on brewing technology, brewery management, and brewery marketing at the annual Craft Brewer's Conferences.
In 2012, the partners wrote their business plan, and began their pitch to potential investors. In July 2013, the generosity of friends old and new allowed Ardent Craft Ales to officially join the community of Richmond breweries. A lease was signed and renovations were begun on a 1940s warehouse in Scott’s Addition. They purchased a 15-barrel DME brewhouse and started placing orders for raw materials. Thanks to the kindness and belief of many, Ardent Craft Ales, a brewery and taproom, opened in June 2014. Kevin, Tom, and Paul look forward to a lifetime of celebrating beer with the Richmond community.