Nelsen Williamsburg


David Eisele Baum

7 June, 19739 February, 2020
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The Williamsburg community grieves the sudden loss of David “Dave” Eisele Baum, who died of natural causes on Sunday, February 9, 2020, much too soon for family, friends, and loved ones. He was only 46 years old.

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, on June 7, 1973, Dave was truly a free spirit. After graduating from J.R. Tucker High School in Henrico, Virginia, he attended Virginia Tech for one year before he decided to “take a break” and follow the Grateful Dead around the country. On his own twenty-third birthday, his daughter Elizabeth Montana was born, which Dave claimed was one of the first turning points in his life. It drove him to pursue an associate’s degree in Information Technology from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and he subsequently entered work in the corporate world.

Daughters Rylie Elaine and Piper Nicole were born a few years later, and Dave lived with his family in Richmond, until he and his first wife, Nikki, separated and he moved to Williamsburg in 2003.

Dave married Kristin in 2007, making her stepmom to the “Baumlets” and mom to many pets over the years, including Elli (Eleanor Rigby) the cat, and most recently, rescue dogs Bear and Lil. In 2008, Kristin gave him a homebrewing system for Christmas, and the pursuit of his next, and perhaps most well-known, dream of one day opening a local brewery began. He brewed beer for friends, special occasions, weddings, and just for fun, but the most special part for him was the presence of friends who showed up on “brew days” to help, who would spend the entire day with Dave. He not only loved to brew, he loved teaching others about craft beer and the process.

For five years, Dave and Kristin were blessed with the generosity of countless team members from James City County, Guernsey Tingle Architects, David Nice Builders, and an army of family and friends to bring Billsburg Brewery to fruition in October 2017 when it opened. Originally, Dave’s vision for the brewery was to have a place where people could enjoy craft beer in a family- and pet-friendly environment, a “destination brewery,” as he called it, where people could come not just to drink beer, but to linger and enjoy the events and people at the marina. However, once the brewery opened, the dream grew into a platform for community activism, and he quickly became an advocate for non-profits and social justice. He considered the brewery his legacy for his family, but this evolved into a community wide legacy of kindness and philanthropy. He worked tirelessly to raise funds and awareness for various local organizations through brewery events and collaborations.

Dave absolutely adored children and dogs, and of course, loved everyone. Strangers quickly became friends within minutes of meeting him. Going to the brewery felt like going to an extension of Dave and Kristin’s home, as the two carefully curated and decorated the taproom together, and Dave made it a point to welcome you, or stop and talk, no matter how busy he was. He was a complex and intelligent soul, and always had a smile on his face, even if there was more going on that he quietly shared with a few lucky close friends.

If Dave could name his successes, the brewery and contributions to the community would be most recent, but topping this list would be his daughters. He talked to Rylie every single day, even if it was just a quick, “hey, kiddo!” Piper, the baby, went to bed with “good night, ladybugs,” one of their many nicknames, painted on the wall over her bed. Montana’s smile and personality are obviously like her daddy’s, noticeable within seconds of meeting her.

To say Dave was a lover of music would be an understatement – he loved “educating” others by sharing whatever he was currently listening to, loved taking in local bands and artists, and the radio station in the car was permanently set to the Grateful Dead channel. He taught Kristin and the girls the lyrics and stories behind countless obscure Beatles songs.

Dave joins many loved ones in heaven, including his mother, Elaine, and father, Ken. His brother, Ken, tragically was taken from this world too early in 2013. Sammy, Franklin, Juneau, and many other beloved dogs are waiting in heaven for him, too. One of his favorite quotes was by Will Rogers: “if there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.”

He will be watching over the family he left here on earth: loving wife, Kristin; daughters Montana, Rylie, and Piper; nephews Jacob and Sam; sister- and brother-in-law Heather and Todd; nephew Isaac David and niece Elaine Margaret; “Mom” Wanda Adsit; and the girls’ mother, his first wife, Nikki Cabaniss. The friends he also considered family are too numerous to name, but he’ll be there in spirit whenever they’re gathered and celebrating life.

His family, friends, and patrons will never get to see the many other accomplishments and new adventures he had brewing, but his wish would be that others would be inspired that he took a chance on his dream and made it so much more than he ever thought possible.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to one of two charities that Dave held especially close: The Southeastern Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association ( or Heritage Humane Society (

Visitation will be on Thursday, February 13, 2020, from 6 to 8pm, and a celebration of life will be at noon on Friday, February 14, 2020. Both will be at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188.


  • Visitation

    Thursday, 13 February , 2020

  • Celebration of Life

    Friday, 14 February , 2020


David Eisele Baum

have a memory or condolence to add?

Asif Talukdar

14 February 2020

Dave will always be regarded as my brother.

We shared a love of music, art, ideas, philosophy and life. He was generous, kind and charming. I always knew that success was just waiting for him. He was destined to make a difference and that is exactly what he did.

I can only imagine the journey he is experiencing since now he is light amongst dreamers, his admirers and heroes.

He is home.

Laura Chichester

12 February 2020

Dave was a great friend, a devoted husband and father. He loved his brewery and their creations and no one can replace him. His memory at Billsburg Brewery must live on!! He will be missed by soooo many of us.

Carry on B2 tribe, Dave would want that for us!

Always a Founder and always a devoted patron I shall be.

See you in the after life my friend.
Laura Chi


12 February 2020

I love Dave.
I have been one of his best friends for 30 years.

Montana, Rylie, & Piper, He loved you more than anything ,
Period, end of sentence.

I wish I could speak the truth, not only about how great Dave was, but also about everything leading up to Sunday, February 9th , 2020.

Some will bare false witness.
You know who you are.
However, others rest assured....
Dave is with us.
every single day.
His kind heart, his laid back demeanor, His lack of desire for drama.
& most importantly: His allergies to greed.

Dave was a good man, a better Father. & someone that deserved better cards than the ones he was dealt.

He was my brother.
I miss him more than I can articulate.

Desi & Tina Gulley

11 February 2020

We are sorry for your sudden loss and pray for you and all who loved Dave.
Tina and Desi Gulley

Criztina Jean

11 February 2020

I remember hearing about the dreams and struggles trying to open in the location near the marina. All the city and paper-red tape. I knew he was going to make it happen because he was just too passionate about it to NOT make it happen. I enjoyed seeing his dream materialize and was thrilled when I read about it in the paper. I loved that he hosted the start point and the hangout zone for many races. I know the racing community will miss him and his passion. Prayers to Kristen and all who loved him.

Bryan Flaherty

11 February 2020

Dave was a special soul whose smile was infectious. He was always there to lend a hand or a helpful word. His presence will be sorely missed. I look forward to sharing a beer with you again someday my friend. Rest easy.

Jim Moss

11 February 2020

I was deeply saddened to hear of Dave's passing. Our paths crossed due to our mutual love of The Grateful Dead and similar musical groups. We attended a number of shows together in the 80s and 90s. I'll always remember how gentle and kind he was. Lay down my dear brother, lay down and take your rest....

Jessica Howe

11 February 2020

My prayers are with Kristin, Piper, Montana , Riley, and all who mourn this loss. Dave was a wonderful friend and Kasey and I will miss him terribly. Not only did we share our love of beer, and the Dead, we shared stories about our daughters and that is how we made the deepest connection.
“Like an angel, standing in a shaft of light
Rising up to paradise, I know he’s gonna shine.”

Bryan Hill

11 February 2020

Billsburg Brewery, created in a garage by a person who brought his neighbors and friends together. He focused on creating a gathering place for any and all to just have fun. The business plan was simple and not complicated, truly a labor of love as opposed to the bottom line. People came from near and far to enjoy his brewery for the beer as well as my friend Dave who smiled with pride and joy as so many loved our new community gathering place. My condolences to James City County for losing an icon, my condolences to his 3 lovely daughters Piper, Riley, Montana. My condolences to Kirstin his wife he loved you guys and we never had a conversation without your names being individually mentioned. Life is not promised, Dave always looked at the good, I hope we start looking at the good in all as life is not promised. Rest in Eternal Peace my friend.

Missing you in Fairfax, #1moreFLYAWAY”

Nikki Cabaniss

11 February 2020

So incredibly blessed to have David as the father of our three incredible daughters .. i will be forever thankful and grateful for these three precious gifts. He was an amazing and loving father. I will hold tightly to our memories.. and everyday i look at our daughters.. i will see Dave.. he will always be with us.

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