They were brought together by a shared love of home-grown vegetables and hand-crafted beer. Family ties made the connection sweeter when Trent married Caroline, Stephen's daughter. "I've been in love with brewing beer since the mid-80s, when I lived in D.C. and experimented with making beer at home," Stephen remembers. But marriage, kids, running a family business, and a deep involvement in his eastern North Carolina community put home brewing on the back burner. The passion rekindled when Stephen started gardening organically. "I raise cows and recycle their manure fertilizing hundreds of organic vegetable plants. I even make my own tomato juice just like my Grandmother did." Soon he tempted his new son-in-law with the taste of a "Red Eye," an old family recipe mixing craft beer and fresh tomato juice.
"That was it," Trent admits. "It was love at first taste. Pretty soon, I was experimenting with brewing my own beer, operating out of a closet in my house. Back in high school I spent a summer at the beach, working for a local grocery that had a cooler of craft beers. I was fascinated by the art on the bottles, and all the wonderful unique tastes. That's what I wanted in my beer-the beauty, the originality, and that special feeling when you take your first sip after surfing on a sunny summer day at the beach."
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