Fat Mike has proven to be one of the music business’ most successful entrepreneurs over the past few decades. Beyond his success with the bands NOFX and Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, Mike is the co-founder of the punk-centric record label Fat Wreck Chords. He also founded Punkvoter.com, which tied in with the high-profile Rock Against Bush campaign. Mike also co-wrote the rock musical Home Sweet Home with Tony Award winner Jeff Marx (Avenue Q) and Goddess Soma, as directed by Richard Israel.
The year 2017 has seen Fat Mike expand his business reach into the beverage and festival spaces. Launched on September 5, Mike and his NOFX bandmates collaborated with Stone Brewing to create a beer, Stone & NOFX Punk In Drublic Hoppy Lager. Punk In Drublic is available at Fat Mike Presents Punk In Drublic Craft Beer & Music Festival, which launched at America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, on September 16. Additional Punk In Drublic festival outings include October 14 at Concord, California’s Concord Pavilion, October 15 at Sacramento’s Papa Murphy’s Park at Cal Expo, October 21 at Avondale, Arizona’s Fear Farm Festival Grounds, and October 28 at Huntington Beach’s Bolsa Chica Park. The ongoing festival — as produced with Synergy Global Entertainment and craft beer event powerhouse Brew Ha Ha Productions — includes performances by NOFX, Bad Religion, Less Than Jake, Goldfinger, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, and more.
To learn more about the Stone & NOFX Punk In Drublic Hoppy Lager — including which food Mike feels it goes best with — and the Punk In Drublic Craft Beer & Music Festival, I spoke with the always-entertaining musician for the Inquisitr. Fat Mike can be followed on Twitter via @FatMike_of_NOFX.
What inspired you to launch the Punk In Drublic Craft Beer & Music Festival? Do you ever go to festivals when not playing them?
Fat Mike: I don’t go to festivals generally if I’m not playing them. Unless I’m good friends with the band or Devo is playing. That’s why we came up with PID. It’s a festival I WOULD go to. John [Reese of Synergy Global Entertainment], Cameron [Collins of Brew Ha Ha] and I thought of everything we don’t like about music festivals and designed one that we couldn’t find anything wrong with. Now it seems so simple.
Your festival played six cities this year. Are there hopes of expanding it beyond the western U.S.?
Fat Mike: Next year we plan on going to 18 cities in the U.S. All on weekends and all in cities where it’s not too hot. That’s what’s so cool about not being on tour. We can pick when we wanna play cities depending on the weather. Miami in October, Boston in May, Anchorage in August. No rules. Beer is always in season.
Did you choose any of the food or drink vendors for the festival?
Fat Mike: We choose everything. We want everyone to leave very happy. I have not thought once about what is more profitable when it comes to anything. I just think of what would make me happy. Good food, good beer, good bands. If we do all of that right, we will probably be profitable. In Boise we broke even. That is f**king just fine with me, cuz everyone got paid, and everyone had a great time. Maybe next year we’ll make a little something.
— NOFX (@NOFXband) September 27, 2017
When did you first get into craft beer? Do you remember the first craft beer you were especially interested in?
Fat Mike: My first craft beer was mine. It was a filthy black stout that tasted like… like… like something that wasn’t good. I shared it with a lot of friends. I think I only had to drink 6 of ’em. My first craft beer was Anchor Steam. Still f**king good beer!
How did you first meet the Stone Brewing folks? Did you suggest the beer collaboration to them?
Fat Mike: Cameron from Brew Ha thought we would make a great team cuz we were both independently owned and do things differently. It’s been an awesome partnership so far.
What can you tell me about the Stone & NOFX Punk in Drublic Hoppy Lager beer that you have coming out soon?
Fat Mike: I really like it. They made the beer that I asked for. Not too heavy. Very drinkable… And I got to pour the f**king hops in myself. I gotta say, it’s quite a bit better than my first home brew!
Is there a food that you feel it pairs best with?
Fat Mike: I like it with Frosted Flakes in the morning.
Will Stone and NOFX Punk in Drublic Hoppy Lager be available for purchase online? Going the traditional distribution route? Sold at NOFX gigs?
Fat Mike: I’m not sure. It’s around, though. I got mine in the mail from them. That’s the easiest way to get it. Just call the dude at Stone and ask him to mail you some. Worked for me.
— NOFX (@NOFXband) August 31, 2017
What are some of your favorite restaurants in San Francisco?
Fat Mike: Town Hall, Goood Frikin Chicken, La Corneta, and Michael Minna.
When not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time?
Fat Mike: Being tied up In my dungeon, playing golf, bike riding with my daughter, or playing poker at Lucky Chances.
Finally, Mike, any last words for the kids?
Fat Mike: Come to the Punk In Drublic Festival. It’s so f**king fun… Oh, s**t. You can’t… Hmmmm. Try Gilman Street.