Lance Rice is now 55. He's lived in Vermilion almost his entire life. In that time, he has been busy, filling his tiny bedroom and an office with hundreds and hundreds of beer cans.
"Ha, no, no I'm not biased when it comes to beer cans, no I'm not really biased at all," Lance said, during an interview at his home.
Lance has a photographic memory and is a brilliant beer historian. Lance is also autistic.
"I still remember these things that a lot of other people had forgotten about a long time ago," Lance said. On June 15, he will leave this crowded room of cans and set out on the biggest trip of his life.
"This is a 1,500-mile trip to brewers of the Midwest. This is called 'Autism Beer Hope' which is the name of the project," he said. "The goal of the project, on a personal level, is to give him a legacy," said Aaron Rice, Lance's best friend and nephew.
Aaron is a filmmaker and is making a documentary about Lance and the upcoming tour.
"Everyone deserves a chance to feel important and to feel needed," Aaron said.
Aaron has worked tirelessly to raise money to make the documentary and to help fund Lance's ultimate goal --to write a book on the history and culture of American beer.
The town of Vermilion has rallied around the family, getting behind local fundraisers, changing marquees at Dominos and Huggy's. And the nation has gotten behind an online fundraiser on the website kick starter.
The documentary will hinge around Lance's autism -- a disability that used to keep him at home, rarely talking. His family never spoke of it until now.
"For me... up until this point, I was afraid to bring it up," Aaron said.
Now Lance, his family, and the entire town of Vermilion are talking about Lance; his autism, his incredible gift, his dream.
"Yeah, he believed in my cause and he believed in my hope and he believed in my dream and if it wasn't for him I don't know where I would be now, but he believed in my hope my cause and my dream," Lance said.
For more information on Lance's tour and kick-starter campaign please visitwww.lancesbrewerytour.com