EPISODE #9 - Mad Beer Genius: Whitney Fisher & Nile Zacherle of Mad Fritz - Part 1
He’s the mad genius. She’s the anchor. This is another unusual husband & wife team interview, this time from the patio of a Michelin-star restaurant in the Napa Valley. You’re going to hear about the beer we’re drinking there because we’re interviewing Whitney Fisher and Nile Zacherle of Mad Fritz, a tiny brewery in St. Helena. Surprisingly, opening a brewery was her idea. But, despite Whitney’s enthusiasm for the brewery, she never wants to share an office with her husband. They admit that they always take their work home with them at night. They also take their work with them on vacation. Is this a good thing?
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THE SHOW NOTES
Nile Zacherle and Whitney Fisher come from making fine wine—and are making fine beer in the Napa Valley, using a wine sensibility and an exceptional degree of cooperation that celebrates their disparate personalities, mostly.
This episode comes from the patio of the Michelin-star restaurant Charter Oak as Honey and Blaine talk with Whitney and Nile from Mad Fritz Brewing. Although Whitney and Nile both started in winemaking, Whitney encouraged Nile to harness his passion for homebrewing and turn it into a business.
In this episode, they discuss what makes their beer so very different, how they use a membership model to sell the beer, how they brand and market their beers, how they do house labels for restaurants like Charter Oak and French Laundry, how their work comes home with them, and how the business of making beer impacts their kids.
• The importance of having passion in order to cope with the ups and downs
• How their best brainstorming happens on vacation
• How they brew beer to fill the orders they have, rather than trying to sell it after producing it
• about the beer being served with their meal, an acorn IPA (04:03)
• How Whitney and Nile met (08:38)
• What inspired Whitney to suggest that Nile start the business (11:30)
• Divvying up their respective roles at Mad Fritz (14:24)
• More about the origin of the business and the importance of passion (16:00)
• Why the brewery is called Mad Fritz because of their kids (19:08)
• Where the names of their beers come from (21:30)
• How they work together (25:11)
• Taking the best of the wine world and applying it to the beer world (26:45)
• How their business model is membership based (27:25)
• How they take their work home with them (29:52)
• How the work affects the kids (30:45)
• A pitfall they think it is important to avoid (32:28)