She booted the family car out of the garage and started making award winning real ale.
Now Patsy Slevin's Prospect micro-brewery in Standish has fermented its way into the finals of a competition for energetic new entrepreneurs.
The former children's nursery manager is one of 14 businesses selected from across the UK to go through to the next round of judging in the Most Promising New Business category of the British Small Business Champions (BSBC) 2008.
This is a new category in the British Small Business Champions aimed at highlighting the endeavours and achievements of the 500,000 plus people who start their own business each year.
Organisers Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said it was a vital way of "supporting and applauding" the efforts of the up-and-coming generation of small firms.
She will be joined in the run-in for glory by organic food suppliers The Farmshed on Wigan's Martland Mill Industrial Estate.
Prospect, which is named after its Prospect hill location, was launched in January 2007 by Patsy and her husband John.
Four of their beers now have an appropriately prospecting name – Pioneer; Gold Rush; Silver Tally and Clementine.
They supply pubs, hotels and festivals and several customers have bought Prospect beers for private parties and to enjoy at home.
They have even started being commissioned for one off "designer" beers for weddings.
The Farmshed Ltd was started in November 2007 by Dan Cropper and his brother Richard.
It is an on-line delivery service for organic fruit and vegetables offering over 600 products.
Produce comes from small, local producers across Lancashire and Cheshire and it is a carbon zero business.
The Farmshed won "Best of the Taste Pavilion" Chester Food and Drink Festival Awards in March – the first time a newcomer has won this award since the festival began.
From the 14 short-listed businesses, six will be chosen to go before the team of BSBC national judges, who will decide which one of them should be selected as The Most Promising New Business 2008.
This will be announced at the BSBC national awards evening at Claridges on November 21.
As well as pride, prestige, publicity and profile raising, the winner will receive 1,000 to spend in a way that will benefit their business, and a trophy.