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.
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.