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  • Christophe Gagne and Avery Schwenk’s brewery Hermit Thrush exclusively makes sour beers.
  • Its 21 taps and canned beers, on sale in nine states and D.C., brought in $1.5 million in revenue last year. 
  • Here’s the kicker: they launched the business in just six months.

A lot can happen during a 13-hour drive: Some people devour audiobooks, others play games, and entrepreneurs like Christophe Gagne and Avery Schwenk hatch plans to turn their home-brewing hobby into a business. 

Gagne and Schwenk are the cofounders of Hermit Thrush, a Brattleboro, Vermont-based brewery that exclusively makes sour beers. In 2013, the duo were living in Philadelphia and eager to leave the city, so they’d take long trips to Vermont looking for jobs as a social worker and paramedic, respectively. 

They shared a love of sampling beer and experimenting with home brewing, so when Gagne posed that they abandon their job hunt and turn their pastime into a profit, it seemed like a perfect fit. Hermit Thrush launched just six months later, in 2014.

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