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Saving “Fretzy”

August 16, 2014

Yesterday, I was alerted via social media that former high school classmate was looking for help.  I clicked on the link and was compelled to see what I could do.

Last May, Stacie Parker Fretz lost her husband, Gregory Fretz, to throat cancer.  Greg had been the craft beer industry since 1994 working for Pyramid and Deschutes Brewing.  In 2011 he realized his dream of owning his own brewery when he co-found Phoenix Ale Brewery  with George Hancock, former chairman of Pyramid Brewing in Seattle.

Sadly, when Greg died there was no life insurance and a mountain of medical bills. This has forced Stacie to file for bankruptcy in attempt start over. Now, Stacie is in jeopardy of losing her portion of the brewery, and is looking for help to keep “Fretzy” in the family.

Here is what I received from Stacie:

“Basically, it is a very small portion of the brewery that I am trying to keep…Greg and his partner started the brewery while Greg was still working for Gary Fish, from Deschutes. So, he kept his full time career…while spending any spare time he had looking at property, going over business plans, and everything else that goes into starting a new brewery. The brewery… is still growing. So basically, my shares are really not worth anything at this point. I just want my kids to be able to have what was Greg’s passion someday. After all, our flagship beer is named “Fretzy” after him! I would hate to have to tell the kids that the brewery is gone as well… At any rate, I hate that I am being kicked while I am already down. It is humiliating enough to have to file bankruptcy, and now for them to take all that we have. There is no savings, no 401k, no life insurance…just a roof over my head, and my people… The local craft brewery people have been amazing throughout the past almost 15 months. I think beer people are just good people.”

I’ve never met Greg (that I know of) , have never been to Phoenix Ale Brewery, and I really didn’t know Stacie in high school.  I just love craft beer, and I hate reading stories like this. Not to get too political here; but can’t we all agree that no one should have to file bankruptcy due to medical bills?

Let’s continue to show Stacie that craft beer people are amazing.   Check out her campaign at and help keep “Fretzy” in the family.



P.S. Thanks to Beer PHXation Blog for additional information to help with this post.

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