New Jersey boasts a number of organizations that actively support the brave men and women who serve, as well as those that have already served, in active duty for the United States. The sacrifices of these men and women are invaluable; that’s why countless businesses — including a unique brewery along the Jersey Shore, Backward Flag Brewing Company — employ a variety of ways to serve them, both in front of and behind the counter.

On this episode of Life & Living with Joanna Gagis, Torie Fisher, founder and owner of Backward Flag Brewing Company, visited the set to tell show host Joanna Gagis about how her military service and passion for brewing beer led her to create a brewing company dedicated to helping veterans.

Backward Flag Brewing Company, based out of Forked River, Ocean County, focuses on the quality of its beer nearly as much as it does helping the county’s courageous veterans. In fact, much of the brewery’s staff are veterans; Fisher herself served 13 total years in active duty and with the Army National Guard.

“I joined the Army right out of high school,” said Fisher. “I got stationed in Germany. When my plane landed in Germany, they told us, ‘Hey, welcome to Germany. Your unit’s already in Iraq. You’ll be going there next.’”

This video was made possible thanks to the Visiting Nurse Association.

It wasn’t long until Fisher was deployed to Iraq, where she spent her 19th birthday before eventually being deployed a second time, soon becoming a helicopter crew chief. Following her service, Fisher opened up her own successful brewing company, where she fell into the role fluidly.

“Just in general, the military puts you in positions to be a leader, to make decisions on your own,” Fisher explained. “They kind of force you in positions where you need to figure out how to get the job done with very little guidance. And I think that’s kind of all the same attributes that you look for in an entrepreneur.”

To learn more about Fisher’s service and brewery, and how she’s supporting our nation’s veterans, check out this edition of Life & Living with Joanna Gagis.

For more stories that impact New Jersey residents, click over to our Hot Topics in NJ series.


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  • Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Life & Living with Joanna Gagis / Caucus Educational Corporation
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