Mahalia started in the beer industry by chance when she got a job through a temp agency at a beer distributor in 2003 after finishing her undergraduate degree.
Ryan started in the beer industry very much on purpose in 2006 at a beer distributor in Pennsylvania, and he got his first brewing job in 2007 at Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery in Farmville.
The two met at a pub in Greenville in 2007 when Mahalia was working on her Masters and Ryan had just moved to town. They soon started dating, and spent their early dating years working beer festivals in the very young NC craft beer scene.
The two were married in 2009 and soon thereafter moved to Europe for an opportunity for Ryan to be the head brewer at Fano Bryghus in Denmark. At Fano, they lived in the brewery and had an opportunity to contract brew for newer brands like Mikkeller, Evil Twin, Grass Roots and Stillwater Artisinal Ales. Their daughter Edison was born in Denmark in 2011.
They left Denmark for a new adventure in England in 2013, helping to start Siren Craft Brew in Finchampstead. In 2015, they left England, returning to the US to Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro, VT. It was here that Casita was born.
Ryan was offered the opportunity to have his own brand housed within Hill Farmstead as a way to earn extra money. Mahalia started the brand for Ryan because while he had long had a passion for brewing, he did not have any interest in running a business.
The two developed Casita--the "little house" inside the bigger brewery to be a brand focused on home, love and family. Nothing cynical, sarcastic, or insincere.
Their first beers were all mixed culture fermentation beers. The label art was hand drawn by Mahalia and driven around Vermont in their Subaru.
In 2017 they relocated their brand back to their home state of NC, and in 2020, they opened their taproom in Mahalia's hometown of Wilson. Here they have made it their mission to use their business to help better the community. Since opening their doors, they have directly donated over $80,000 to local nonprofits and helped these nonprofits raise tens of thousands more dollars for themselves.
They want Casita to feel like home, and they feel honored when people choose to let Casita be a part of the backdrop for their lives. Ryan is still the brewer. Mahalia is still the business manager and they can both be seen making deliveries around the state in their Subaru.
In 2021, Mahalia was named a Hometown Hero by The Wilson Times, and Casita Brewing Company was voted the Favorite Beer/Wine Shop by readers of The Wilson Times
In 2022, they won the Small Business Leaders of the Year Award from the Wilson Chamber of Commerce, and a Humanitarian Award from The Wilson County United Way.
Casita was voted Favorite Beer/Wine Shop and Mahalia was voted Wilson's Favorite Community Ambassador by readers of The Wilson Times.
Check out this great video!