Friday, November 03, 2017

The indefatigable Ray Johnson!

Ray Johnson —the indefatigable "I want a keg of your beer" man of Virginia beer— has died.
—5 November 2017.

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The indefatigable Ray Johnson!

If you're a good beer person who doesn't live in Virginia (or Maryland or the District of Columbia) you probably don't know Rayner (Ray) Johnson. But boy, oh, boy, those who do, do!

For nearly 40 years, Ray was an organizer of the Blue-Gray Show, a premier breweriana show of the East Coast. He was a member of the National Association of Breweriana Advertising (NABA) and the Brewery Collectible Club of America (BCCA), and a past national Board member of the latter as well as an inductee into its Hall of Fame. Maybe more so, Mr. Johnson was an indefatigable supporter of Virginia 'craft' beer. He visited every brewery in the state, those extant, some shuttered, and those many planned.

More recently, Mr. Johnson was the northern Virginia distribution manager for Virginia Craft Beer Magazine and a canning line supervisor at Fair Winds Brewing Company, in Lorton, Virginia.

Word has come that Mr. Johnson is in a medically induced coma after suffering a stroke this past Tuesday evening, 31 October.

Please send good thoughts and hoist good beers toward his speedy and full recovery. I am, tonight, with fervor.

May Nikasi be with you, Rayner Johnson! There are (so many) breweries yet to visit.

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  • Photo via Virginia Craft Beer Magazine (Facebook), for whom Mr. Johnson was Northern Virginia Distribution Manager. As well, he recently had been working as a canning line supervisor for Fair Winds Brewing Company in Lorton, Virginia.

  • UPDATE

    19 November 2017.
    From his friend, Chuck Triplett:
    Many of you are aware that Rayner Johnson suffered a massive stroke on 10/31 and passed away on 11/5. His request was to not have a formal service so instead we are having a very informal tribute at Fair Winds Brewing Company on Sunday, November 19th between 12:00PM and 4:00PM. If you feel like stopping by and raising a pint or two to Ray please join us.

    It will be a casual, pay as you go affair.

    Fair Winds' address is:
    7000 Newington Road, Suites K&L
    Lorton, Virginia 22079

    Hope that you can join us.

    UPDATE

    8 November 2017
    A Go Fund Me campaign is accepting donations to help Ray Johnson's family defray medical and other expenses.
    gofundme.com/raynerjohnson

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  • For more from YFGF:

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