Army veteran uses hobby to create business, help other vets

Published: May. 17, 2018 at 4:29 PM EDT
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Orie Fisher needed a new way to earn a living after her Army service. Twice deployed to Iraq, the Blackhawk crew chief developed a passion for craft beer.

"One of the guys in the unit taught us how to home brew and that turned into a hobby, and that mashed with me wanting to start a business," she says.

Backward Flag Brewery was born. Torie says turning the idea into profit took battlefield grit.

"I think as an entrepreneur you do hit a lot of those low points. The people that don't really make it are the ones that they just give up. And in the military, they teach you that that is not an option."

Her latest mission is to serve more than just beer. Torie recently launched Arms 2 Artisans, a hands-on program teaching fellow vets civilian career skills.

"I retired just in January. Didn't know what to do, and Arms 2 Artisans offered me a program here where they're teaching us how to brew beer and the whole brew business," says Jose Miranda.

And patrons here get a taste of the military, from the veterans Torie employs to the names of the brews...

"We say we get up at zero dark thirty. So obviously the name zero dark thirsty," Torie says.

..And the brand.

"Backward flag' – that comes from the flag worn on the Army uniform. What the flag actually represents is the fighting spirit-always moving into the fight, never retreating"

Torie's found a recipe for success and helping fellow veterans along the way.