In 2008, at one of his famous backyard parties, Larry Wilson created a concoction he dubbed “Larry’s Lemonade” and served it up to family and friends. It was an instant hit and he soon teamed up with St. George Brewing Company to produce small batches to serve in their tap room. Larry’s Lemonade quickly became a local favorite as word spread throughout Hampton Roads and he knew he was onto something. Larry’s friend Vic Reynolds knew they could scale production and packaging, and with the right marketing, expand the reach of Larry’s Lemonade. Bill “Senior” Ballou, a successful businessman, agreed to invest in The Original Larry’s Hard Lemonade Brewing Company® and soon became known as the “Head Lemon.”
In 2016, just as the new venture was launched, Larry was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and told he had six months to a year left. All Larry wanted was to see his beer packaged so that everyone could enjoy it the way he saw it in his heart. Vic and Senior promised to make it happen, but Vic also demanded a promise from Larry, and that was to fight and never quit. When Vic lost his own father to cancer, he’d made a promise to him that he would never quit.
Vic had already begun working with St. George Brewing Company on a 24-month plan to have Larry’s Lemonade packaged, but that plan would have to be accelerated. As Vic and Senior worked with St. George on a new 12-month plan to fulfill their promise to Larry, Larry worked with his Riverside medical team to keep his. Larry took on cancer with his unrelenting “thumbs up” attitude and determination, and his strength and courage inspired all those around him, especially Vic.
In January 2017, our prayers were answered as Larry was winning the fight against cancer. And thanks to Senior’s ongoing support and belief in Larry, Vic, and this great beer, the first can of Larry’s Lemonade rolled off the line within days of the 12-month goal. Let’s just say that 2017 was the year we proved that “We don’t quit. We stay in the fight!”
Sadly, our celebration was cut short when Larry was diagnosed with dementia in 2018. As much as we struggle with losing the Larry we know and love, he will always be our King of Lemonade®. And rest assured, like all the promises made before, Vic will continue to fight the good fight, carrying Larry’s heart in his.
Larry’s Lemonade made its way from the backyard throughout Hampton Roads to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and now to you. Larry insists that had it not been for the support of his inner circle of Lemons, the world would never have gotten to know The Original Larry’s Hard Lemonade®.
Today, you can enjoy Larry’s Lemonade and Larry’s Pink Lemonade in 16-oz cans and kegs. If you are truly fortunate, you can experience a frozen slushie!