In the long list of things we love about doing a craft beer podcast and web series is the fact we get to personally talk to OGs in the industry. On our recent trip to Vermont, Matt Cohen aka Matty O, founder and head brewer of Fiddlehead Brewery, was incredibly generous with his time and dropped more than a few gems on us.
Matty started off volunteering/interning at Magic Hat and worked his way up to a brewer position, schooling himself in the industry along the way. He was there through their transition after the purchase by North American Breweries, and was able to see firsthand the difference that a corporate takeover can deploy on the culture of an independent brewery.
Cohen started Fiddlehead himself, initially in a small space next to Folino’s Pizza. More recently, he opened a full production brewery just behind the original taproom, which is still in operation and will be expanded. One of the most impressive things he told us was that the new production brewery is debt free — paid for by profits from the original smaller brewery. That, my friends, is how a business should be run.
Matt constantly impressed us throughout the chat with his wealth of knowledge on the brewing industry, his business savvy and his genuine enthusiasm for his line of work. He even stuck around for 30 minutes after the podcast to just chat about business, then gave us a full tour of the new brewery, seeing us out the door with enough Second Fiddle to last us, well, a while.
If we weren’t already, we’re fully fledged fanboys of Fiddlehead now, and personally, I really feel that Matt is a fantastic example to up-and-coming brewers or entrepreneurs. Master your craft, pay attention to detail, learn the business. Check out the highlights below, or listen to the full (almost) 2 hour chat via Apple Podcasts.
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