LINCOLN PARK — An autistic beer historian with a photographic memory who's been dubbed "The Rain Man of Beer" is set to make Goose Island Brewery his first Chicago stop on a nationwide tour Friday night.
Lance Rice and his nephew are traveling across the country and have already hit more than 60 breweries as Lance gathers information to write a book about beer.
In the process, his nephew Aaron Rice, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, will be filming a documentary of the trip.
Lance Rice's journey across America has already stretched 15,000 miles and included stops at more than 65 breweries.
"Every time Lance goes to a brewery it's like a kid getting to meet Santa Claus at the North Pole," said 33-year-old Aaron Rice. "That's his Graceland. He reacts like a kid on Christmas morning every time we show up."
Lance and Aaron Rice will be visiting Goose Island Brewery, 1800 N. Clybourn Ave., to tour the facility and film Friday, and later in the day the brewpub is set to host them for a three-hour event that's open to the public.
Lance and Aaron Rice will join Goose Island founder John Hall at the bottomless beer-tasting event with some of the brewery's rarest brews on tap including the Bourbon County Brand Stout 2014, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine, Brettanomite Oak-Aged Sour Wheat and Cueball English Porte among other.
Proceeds from the $30 event will go to "Lance's Room," a nonprofit named for Lance Rice that gives back to the autism and beer communities helping with scholarships, vocational training and more.
During the tour's stop in Chicago, the Rices also plan to visit Revolution Brewery in Logan Square.
"He is currently astounded that so much of the beer world has kind of welcomed him across the country," Aaron Rice said.
The project has been in the works for about 1-1/2 years, and the duo hit the road in early June.
It's been a dream of Lance Rice's, who is in his mid 50s, for about 40 years.
"He didn't think, one, it would ever happen, and two, he didn't realize the beer world coast-to-coast would embrace his dream as much as they have," Aaron Rice said.
Tickets to the event from 6-9 p.m. Friday are available online and will be available at the door.
“The film was inspiring to begin with, but I think we are sitting on the verge of having one of the most powerful beer movies ever made on our hands," Aaron Rice said.