It may surprise you that wine is actually at the heart of one of Napa Valley’s incredible local brews: Mad Fritz Beer. Not only is the beer maker headquartered in wine country, the husband-and-wife owners both have a long history in the winemaking industry. They even tease that it takes a lot of wine to make great beer. Find out about the couples’ journey and how their passions for beer and wine, as well as family and community, combine to create an array of beverages that will quench your thirst and impress your palate.
Mad Fritz Beer is a uniquely brewed beer in Napa Valley. A visit is a perfect way to add something different to your itinerary that may otherwise focus on wine. Download our free Vacation Guide to the Napa Valley to find out about other breweries, wineries, as well as restaurants, attractions, recreation, and more. We make planning your trip easy. The makings of an incredible getaway to Napa Valley can be found within the pages of our local guide. Download yours today.
Nile Zacherle and his wife Whitney Fisher are the couple behind the beer. Their combined experience in the wine industry spans decades. In fact, they both still have a hand in wine production through their other business Zacherle Wines, Fisher Vineyards, and more.
However, Nile’s passion for beer was the impetus for Mad Fritz beer. He had long been a homebrewer, but after taking and teaching brewing classes, and interning at several small pub breweries, he eventually became the brewer and director of quality at Anderson Valley Brewing in Northern California. After 20 years of experience, he decided to take a leap and begin crafting his own ales and lagers
The twist is that Mad Fritz does so using winemaking techniques.
The company also makes sure to use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Their method begins with locally sourced water, locally grown hops and barleys farmed using organic and biodynamic techniques, and more.
Mad Fritz is available on tap and served by the bottle at several restaurants in Napa Valley. However, for the full experience, you should make a reservation for a visit, a tasting, and to purchase beer directly. The brewery is in St. Helena, just 30 minutes from Churchill Manor.
Here’s a sampling of just a few Mad Fritz beers:
A classic-style ale based on those brewed in the Cologne region of Germany. Enjoy a light, nutty taste with toffee characteristics.
A Belgian-style ale that was aged in chardonnay barrels for one month. This bright beer features fruit tones, aromas of yeast-spice and subtle hop notes.
An Irish Dry Stout with a subtle vinous note as it is aged in freshly emptied Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.
When you arrange a visit, you’ll have the chance to learn more about their process as well as the personality of each beer. Beer available for tasting always varies because they brew based on what’s aging and what’s available. You can expect a unique experience each time you visit. In addition to purchasing beer onsite, you can also sign up for a Mad Fritz membership and have craft beer delivered to you quarterly. You’ll also get access to Mad Fritz limited release beer. Check their website to see when memberships become available. They are popular and sell out quickly each year.
If you are partial to beer over wine, you may want to make a trip to a few other breweries in the valley. Go behind the scenes for a tour, talk to the brewers, and enjoy a tasting (of course!). View our blog to find out several additional Napa Valley breweries you need to try next time you’re in town!
Now that you know all of the best places to explore craft beer in the region let us invite you to explore Churchill Manor Bed & Breakfast. Here, you can relax in elegant accommodations, dine on a gourmet breakfast each morning and mingle with our innkeepers and other guests over wine and hors d’oeuvres each evening. We’re located just steps from Napa’s Main Street, as well as within a short driving distance from attractions, restaurants, activities, and plenty of tastings. Check our availability to book the best room available for the dates you wish to travel. We can’t wait to welcome you!