The Trip of a Lifetime
By: Mahalia Breen
Our Full Circle Road Diaries
Click the links below to read about our adventure
April 7, 2017
It all began for us in North Carolina. Almost 10 years ago exactly, Ryan and I met at Christy's Europub in Greenville, NC. He gave me a hard time about the mass market lager I was drinking, and then he talked my ear off about the industry he loved. A month or so before we met, he had just taken his first brewing job at Duck-Rabbit in Farmville, NC. One of the first things I ever loved about him was the passion he has for the work he does. Just about two years after our meeting, we were married, and not too long after that we moved to Denmark.
In Denmark, Ryan worked for Fano Bryghus. This was his first head brewing job. Here he got to test himself as a recipe creator, and his reputation as a brewer was strong enough to not only brew beer for Fano, but also for the contract brands Mikkeller, Evil Twin, Grassroots and Stillwater Artisinal Ales.
Through this experience we met a lot of really awesome Danish people, expats of all sorts and beer enthusiasts, we traveled Europe, and I even gave birth to our daughter here. She will always be my little dansk barn, and my all-time favorite souvenir from our travels.
Then Ryan came across the opportunity to start a brewery from the ground up. He worked with the owner to design and create Siren in Finchampstead, England. His efforts helped this brewery gain the title of "Best Brewery in England", according to Ratebeer.com in only its second year of operation.
Just after a year of living in England, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As soon as I finished treatment, all I wanted to do was come back home to America. So Ryan worked to find a job that would bring us back to the States.
This brought us to Greensboro, VT where Ryan took a job as brewer at Hill Farmstead Brewery, which is considered by many, and also by Ratebeer.com, to be the "Best Brewery in the World" for many years in a row. This is where Casita was born. Ryan brewed Casita Beer at Hill Farmstead and I had fun coming up with the marketing and delivering the beer to the accounts.
But two years into our Vermont adventure, NC has not stopped calling to us. It's like Pat Conroy said, "My wound is geography. It is also my anchorage, my port of call." We look forward to relocating our operations to NC in August, to sunshine, warm weather, home, family and friends.
But before we do, we are going to spend July doing a big, old loop around this beautiful country of ours in our Subaru Outback, visiting breweries to do collabs, visiting brewpubs to pick up some of the local flavor, and visiting friends and some of the most famous sites this country has to offer.
We are in the process of finalizing our itinerary, but in the meantime you can Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @CasitaTweets, and on Instagram at casitabrews.