David Lemieux

American Beauty Weekend with Grateful Dead’s archivist & legacy manager David Lemieux

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Whether you devoured your fair share of burritos in the parking lot, hitchhiked your way to a show or traded bushels of fresh clementines for tickets, there was something special about a Grateful Dead show and the memories that came with it. If only you could have bottled the magic …

And bottle it we did. Brewed with granola and succulent wildflower honey, American Beauty is a hoppy pale ale that we first brewed back in 2013. A collaboration with the Grateful Dead, we recently got the band back together, releasing this psychedelic fan-favorite in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles for the first time ever!

To celebrate the return of American Beauty and our longtime collaboration with the Grateful Dead, we’re hosting an American Beauty-themed weekend Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9. From a Grateful Dead-inspired Beer Experience to special, music-themed Grain to Glass tours, we didn’t think the weekend could get any better … but then we asked David Lemieux, Grateful Dead’s archivist and legacy manager, to join us for the festivities!

A long-standing Dead Head, David’s been with the Grateful Dead for nearly 20 years, with his 20th anniversary coming up on Feb. 1! As the Grateful Dead’s audiovisual archivist and legacy manager, he’s in charge of the band’s archive library. He also curates and produces a series of rare and highly sought-after live shows (known as “Dave’s Picks”) to be released directly to fans through dead.net.

David will be spending the entire day with us on Friday, Feb. 8, kicking things off with a special meet-and-greet / signing in our Tasting Room & Kitchen from 4-5:30 p.m. Come on out and say hello … and don’t forget to bring your favorite Grateful Dead merchandise for him to sign!

Later that night, David will be at our Rehoboth brewpub for our Grateful Dead-inspired Beer Experience – hanging out, telling stories and answering questions as we enjoy some tasty eats, off-centered libations and live Grateful Dead music performed by High Tied Sideshow. For more information or to purchase your tickets, click here … but, hurry! They’re going fast! **This dinner is officially SOLD OUT**

Get to know a little bit about David in the interview below, or come on out during our American Beauty weekend to chat with him for yourself.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you first got involved with the Grateful Dead?
I was finishing my master’s degree in film archiving in mid-1998, and wrote the Dead's archivist, Dick Latvala, a letter asking if I could check out their tape vault. He invited me to California in July 1998 for a visit, and a few months later I wrote him a thank you letter, along with a letter to the Dead's longtime producer, and I offered to come and catalog their video collection. They agreed, and I started February 1, 1999, on a three month contract. While down for another contract in August 1999, Dick passed away, and they asked me to stick around. I was their archivist and producer from 1999-2010, and in 2010 they added Legacy Manager to my title.

In your role, you’ve probably seen and experienced some pretty cool things! What are one or two of your favorite experiences?
Spending a couple of hours with The Edge, just he and I, and his wife, showing him the Dead's vault, talking tapes, etc., and then being U2's guest at the show later that night. Getting to work for the band I admire so much, too, is a wonderful experience that I appreciate every day.

Why do you think collaborating with Dogfish Head is a good fit for the Grateful Dead?
Dogfish's philosophy and attitude closely matches the Dead's, which a band member once described as "misfit power." You guys are left of center in the beer world, just as the Dead are in the musical and cultural world.

What are you most looking forward to about your time with us in coastal Delaware?
Working closely with the Dogfish crew is something I'm looking forward to a lot; it's a partnership that has been so strong for more than six years. I'm also looking very forward to hanging out with Dead Heads, and answering any questions they have about the archival music we release, or anything else we do.

What’s your favorite Grateful Dead song?
Aw, jeez, that's a tough one. I have a dozen or so that are personal favorites, but as long as a song is played well, they're all my favorites. That's the honest truth. It's not what they played, it's how they played it.

If you couldn’t get tickets to the Beer Experience, head over to Chesapeake & Maine to enjoy an American Beauty-inspired food special, or come see us at our Milton Tasting Room & Kitchen on Saturday, Feb. 9 for an American Beauty edition of Vintage & Vinyl and music-themed Grain to Glass tours (**the tours are officially sold out!**). Vintage beers, groovy’ vinyl, behind-the-scenes tours … what more could you ask for?!

We’ll see you there!