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 Whatever is necessary.
Favorite Ardent beer I like the funky stuff.
Favorite non-Ardent beer See above.
Hobbies or interests besides brewing? I love reading about history.
Favorite book, movie, band, etc.? Having a favorite thing seems so limiting. I like variety.
Rich with a lifetime of no beer, or poor with beer for life? Apparently, I have already chosen.
Role at Ardent Making beer and keeping people happy.
Favorite Ardent beer Pilsner
Favorite non-Ardent beer Saison Dupont
Hobbies or interests besides brewing? Gardening, baseball, canoeing, and camping
Favorite animal? Chipmunk. They're so freaking cute!
Playing with a dozen puppies, or playing with a dozen kittens? Yes.
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.
Taproom Manager, Events Coordinator
Role at Ardent I am responsible for planning events, booking table reservations and selling Ardent's superior lagers and ales to the masses.
Favorite Ardent beer IPA X
Favorite non-Ardent beer Bingo More a Bramble
Hobbies or interests besides beer? Collecting clocks and mid-century bric-a-brac with my boo.
Favorite movie All That Heaven Allows - 50's Sirkian Technicolor melodrama! Enough said.
Ability to see 5 minutes into the future, or ability to see 100 years into the future? I think 5 minutes into the future would be ideal, then I could always find my keys.
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.
Role at Ardent Bringing the good word of Ardent Craft Ales to the people of Richmond and Hampton Roads.
Favorite Ardent beer Tossup between Pilsner and IPA X
Favorite non-Ardent beer Orval
Hobbies or interests besides brewing? Reading, gaming, grilling and being a dad.
Favorite food Pizza, sushi and probably also pizza.
Unlimited time travel or unlimited space travel? Unlimited time travel because it worked out great for Bill & Ted and I could always go back in time and change my mind.
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 I make sure everything is clean, and occasionally brew beer
Favorite Ardent beer Pilsner
Favorite non-Ardent beer Undetermined
Hobbies or interests besides brewing? Woodworking
Favorite sports team? Chicago Bears
Ability to teleport, or ability to read minds? Teleport. Reading minds could be cool, but most likely it’s a burden. Traveling wherever in an instant? Yeah, I’ll take that one.
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 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.
Role at Ardent Daily cleaning, upkeep, and monitoring of nearly anything that has to do with getting our beer ready for packaging/distribution.
Favorite Ardent beer Barrel Aged Bourbon Milk Stout
Favorite non-Ardent beer The Veil: Child Support
Hobbies or interests besides beer? Script, screenplay, and storyline writing.
Favorite book, movie, band, etc.? My all time favorite musician is Frank Zappa, he had the ability to create “hits” or commercially appealing music but decided to use his talents for humor instead. Most people never get past his purposely outrageous titles or themes and miss out on some incredible instrumentation, he never took himself seriously and tons of folks disliked it. I can truly relate.
Unlimited time travel, or unlimited outer space travel? Born too late to explore Earth, but born too early to explore space… I’d love to spend the rest of my life wandering the universe. Space is truly the final frontier, I couldn’t imagine anything more spectacular than traveling around a futuristic pit stop on a comet somewhere out in the galaxy.
Role at Ardent I manage the back office operations. I also work with Tom on analysis and reporting to ensure everything is running as smoothly as possible.
Favorite Ardent beer Leigh St DIPA or Robust Porter, depending on time of year.
Favorite non-Ardent beer Triple Crossing Falcon Smash.
Hobbies or interests besides beer? Being outside with my family. We bike, swim, run, and camp. But we really do it to be together outside.
Favorite animal? Otter, enough said.
Ability to teleport, or ability to read minds? Totally the ability to teleport, I can already do the other one.
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.