Vladimir & Dmitri
Born into a remote pet store that was going out of business, Vladimir the little beige girl rat (who was mistaken by the store clerk as a boy rat) was sold at a mere eight weeks of age for half price, $1.50, along with her beige-hooded sibling, Dmitri. The young rats had an unstable cubhood, continually on the move between several residences. Finally they found a permanent home and began rebuilding their lives. The two worked diligently to help form the groundwork for Vermin Brewing. Vladimir often posed for long hours under hot work lights until the logo was to her satisfaction. The sampling of various grains for that perfect taste was an unending task.
Vladimir as a youth
Unfortunately Dmitri passed away at a young age under surgery, but not before having gifted Vladimir with five cubs. Vladimir was separated from her litter when they were still very young, exactly as she had been separated from her mother. Her offspring, however, were promised good homes; they were never to be so mistreated as she had been, being held by the tail and crowded with many others into small glass cages to be pointed and stared at. Vladimir never saw her cubs again.
But all the sadness in her first year of life didn’t stop her from seeing the dream of Vermin Brewing become a reality. In the middle of 1992, her name appeared on the label of the first bottles of Vermin Brewing beer, Vladimir’s Plague Ale. In memory of her beloved mate, the second batch of Vermin Brewing beer received the name of Dmitri’s Bitter Ale. Her cubs were responsible for the name of Bay Rat Twin Ale. In all the months, she never once forgot her family.
In spite of all her hardships, Vladimir was a very happy rat. Overcoming quickly her shyness as a young rat, Vladimir became the friend of many, even to those who “didn’t like rats”. She hosted several parties and became renowned for her beer.
It was a tragedy when she learned she had cancer. A large lump on her side hindered her walking and daily life. After an operation and several months of fighting the disease without success, the weakened rat named Vladimir left us. We honor her to this day, and her name will live on, as well as all that she helped create.