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Good Beer Hunting

Jun 15, 2023

As a former resident of Richmond, Virginia, and with family and friends still there, I visit the city fairly frequently. But seeing it through the eyes of someone else and hearing them describe places like the James River, Ardent Craft Ales, or Mekong made me long to go back. But the story you’ll hear about today isn’t a typical travel piece: Rather, it’s a bittersweet exploration of the city, an ode to a friendship that ended too soon.

In her first story for Good Beer Hunting, titled “Share What You Have — Seeing Richmond, Virginia, Through the Eyes of John Stoner,” writer and cartoonist Em Sauter takes readers on a uniquely personal journey to memorialize her friend John Stoner, a Richmond beer fixture and early supporter of her own work at Pints & Panels, her visual beer education and art business. John died unexpectedly in 2021, sparking a wave of grief Em couldn’t help but ride until she decided to honor his legacy and friendship by visiting his town to remember him as he was and to explore what he meant to her.

In this episode, you’ll hear how writing the story acted as a therapeutic balm for her, a way to sit with her feelings and memories as her own life moves forward. I’m sure you can relate to the idea of having online friends—and especially online beer friends—whose lives may or may not ever come in direct contact with you, but help shape your experiences in unexpected ways. In the end, it’s kindness that Em hopes people share with one another. That, and a love of beer.