Sunday, June 4, 2023

Community mourns death of Billsburg Brewery owner (Free read)

Dave Baum, owner of Billsburg Brewery, died on Sunday. He is remembered by the local community as a friend, partner and ally. (WYDaily/Courtesy Billsburg Brewery Facebook)
Dave Baum, owner of Billsburg Brewery, died on Sunday. He is remembered by the local community as a friend, partner and ally. (WYDaily/Courtesy Billsburg Brewery Facebook)

Staff and fans of Billsburg Brewery are coming together as a community to remember the life of owner Dave Baum, who died on Sunday.

He was 46 years old.

Rick Shippey, part owner of the brewery, was heartbroken this morning as he discussed the death of not only a business partner, but close friend.

“We as a community are just trying to process it right now,” he said. “Our main focus is our founder and friend, that’s he’s gone and he will be deeply missed.”

Shippey said Monday morning the company was still preparing a statement for the community, adding it had been a long 24 hours for everyone close to Baum.

In a Facebook post, Billsburg Brewery said it would open early Monday for anyone who wanted to remember Baum and “raise a pint in his name.”

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Comments from fans and friends of the brewery poured in just an hour after the post was published, with many sending condolences to his family. Baum leaves behind his wife, Kristen, and his three daughters, Montana, Rylie and Piper, according to his profile with Ignition

“For Billsburg we lost a partner and friend but his family lost so much more.  A father, uncle, husband,” Shippey added in an email. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

Billsburg Brewery opened its doors in October 2017 at the James City County Marina and since then has become known in the community for hosting diverse and engaging events.

Some of which have been “Beer for the Girls,” which helped raise money for a local nonprofit for women over 51 with breast cancer, and a “Coming Out Party” for the new Williamsburg LGBTQ group Love is Love Tidewater.

On the brewery’s second anniversary, Baum reflected on his team’s impact in the local community.

RELATED STORY: For its birthday, this brewery is doing something new

“I think we didn’t fully understand before we opened up how much support from the local community we would get,” Baum said in an interview from October 2017. “I think what’s important to us is making sure we have our own unique identity and we’re walking this unique path with everyone around us.”

Information about Baum’s funeral has not yet been released.

This story will be updated.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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