ONE VALLEY, TWO PASSIONS
There is an old saying that ‘it takes a lot of beer to make great wines…’ Well, we can attest to it! After nearly 25 years of home brewing to quench our thirst we decided to go-pro. The stack of recipes are too many to count. These recipes and their styling are often layered with a culinary perspective along with visions of a cold frothy beer at the end of a long day making wine. In 2012 we began to turn this passion into a reality. We reached out to the community around us, the barrel suppliers, equipment manufacturers and our local farmers to literally test the waters. We pulled barrels and equipment from our wineries and began building a custom brewing system. In 2014 we found a small space in St Helena, received a use permit and began creating our beers…Wow! How did that happen? A lot of sweat, determination and of course help from our family, friends and colleagues…Did we say wine! Yes, it’s only fitting that ‘it takes a lot of wine to make great beer!”
Nile Zacherle first began his journey into fermented beverages in 1990 at the age of 18 when he and his father brewed their first batch of beer at home. What began as a father/son home project continued to evolve until he transitioned his schooling from a focus in art and design to a BS in Fermentation Science at UC Davis. While at UC Davis, Nile completed the Master Brewers program passing the 2 day exam issued by the IOBD (Institute of Brewing and Distilling based in the UK) in 1996.
After an internship at a Napa Winery doing small lot winemaking and research enology he returned to UC Davis to finish his degree. He moved on to assisting winemakers in wineries in Australia, France and back in Napa Valley where he met his wife Whitney, where they have been making wine since 2000. Nile currently makes wine for David Arthur Vineyards on Pritchard Hill in the Napa Valley.
He was hired to assist Dr. Michael Lewis in teaching the brewing classes at UC Davis and interned at several small pub breweries. He graduated in 1997 and began brewing and directing quality at Anderson Valley Brewing Company in Northern California. Nile was able to push quality and innovate production techniques during this time. After nearly 20 years of making wine and brewing at home, the desire to craft his own beers commercially using winemaking techniques has come to fruition with Mad Fritz Brewing Co.
Whitney was nearly born in a winery and was raised sipping grape juice while viewing sugar readings through a refractometer. She spent many of her days following her father around the winery asking him what he was doing and why. After studying Molecular Biology and American History at Princeton she graduated and returned to her family’s winery in 1999.
WINE & BEER MANAGEMENT
She now manages 75 planted acres of vineyards in both the Napa and Sonoma Counties along with directing all winemaking operations from harvest to bottle. She brings a depth of knowledge from the wine industry and business skills while handling all farming operations and general management at Mad Fritz.