By Jennifer Waldera
After years of working in breweries and over five years of working toward the dream of opening his own space, Ed Liversidge is on the verge of opening Superfly, one of Charlottesville’s newest breweries. Liversidge’s vision is to create a space that features well-crafted brews in a unique space.
“I felt like there was an opportunity to have a place that was cool and funky to hang out, a cool bar with really good beer,” Liversidge said.
Liversidge spent time previously at Thomas Hooker Brewery in Connecticut, earned his brewing certification through the American Brewers Guild in Vermont, and has tended bar at Random Row for several years (and created a collaborative brew with them, as well), all while working full-time in the world of finance. Throughout his time in Virginia, Liversidge has enjoyed the commonwealth’s breweries, as well as their individuality, which was part of his inspiration for his own project.
“Each of [the breweries] really represents the personalities of the people and who run them —
I love those places,” he says of breweries like Rockfish and Random Row.
With appreciation for those breweries and their beers, Liversidge wanted to create a space with his own vision in terms of both beer and ambiance in a way that reflects his personality and passion.
“I spent years honing a really select list of beer styles. I want to share that with people. I feel like my approach to brewing is to look for styles that have been perfected for generations — classic styles — and then I create my own version and improve.”
Liversidge’s love of all things analog and nostalgic will shine in the space on Charlottesville’s Preston Avenue when it opens in the latter part of summer. From tables crafted from a bowling alley lane in Culpeper to tap handles individually handmade from skateboards by a maker in California to booths bought (then refurbished) from an Italian restaurant in Charlottesville, the space is intended to ooze nostalgia and cultivate comfort with a warm, funky vibe. And, with a passion for vinyl, he also bought a record player for the brewery, intending to create an opportunity to not just play albums, but for people to be able to sell as well.
“I want it to be a place where people can unplug and connect with people on a human level. I want that and the beer to be a platform for people to make human connections and experiences.”
Liversidge credits the brewing community as the foundation for him being able to build his own brewery. From Random Row and Rockfish to Patch (and others), he says that he has received nothing but an outpouring of support that’s incomparable in any other industry.
“It’s a community — I’m experiencing that firsthand. There can be scary parts, and the way people have helped reassures me that I’m doing the right thing. They’re not doing it because it looks good, they’re doing it out of kindness. It probably speaks to the kind of kindness they’ve experienced. To be a part of that community is so exciting. ”
In terms of the community, Liversidge also hopes to give a platform to what he says is a burgeoning underground music scene in Charlottesville. Additionally, he hopes to partner with other local businesses to create various other events.
“I want it to be a place where it’s super inclusive — that people come and feel welcome, and that it’s not an intimidating or pretentious place. They can come in, pick a beer, and be treated with kindness. My hope is that it translates into a good experience. I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t going to pour my heart into it.”