From Farming Goats to Filling Beer Cans

By Johnette Rodriguez | November 22, 2016
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Farming Goats to Filling Beer Cans

When Nico Enriquez spent his growing-up summers on the Cape, his family became good friends with the Fenichels, including Willie, whom they nicknamed Farmer Willie because he liked raising goats. At one family dinner, Willie brought out a bottle of his home-brewed ginger beer, and Enriquez was so enthusiastic that, in his freshman year at Brown University, he convinced his pal Max Easton that it would be a fun project out of which to make a business. By the end of their junior year, they had scaled up the recipe, raised some capital, got a RISDdesigned logo and Farmer Willie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer was born. They sold it from the back of their cars on the Cape in the summer of 2015, and made $50,000! Back to finish their senior year that fall, they hired a friend to keep the momentum going, and last April they moved Farmer Willie’s production to Foolproof Brewing Company in Pawtucket, where they now turn out 30,000–40,000 cans per month. “It links with the fruit-forward drinks and the ginger trend right now,” says Easton. With a 4.5% alcohol content, it has one-quarter the sugar of other ginger beers, with lemon juice and nutmeg sparking the cold-pressed ginger. “We call it ‘ginger with soul,’” Easton says.

Visit TheFarmerWillies.com for numerous locations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

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