If you spend any time talking to Matt Lincecum and Sara Nelson, you are struck by their passion and politics. Matt was an attorney in the beverage industry, working hard for others when he decided it was time to start working hard on his own dreams. His dreams? Producing high quality beer in the most sustainable means possible. By sustainable, Matt envisioned it in terms of the environment, community and family. Why beer? As the Fremont Brewery slogan declares, because beer matters.
Beer does matter here in Washington state. The Yakima Valley is the second largest hop producer in the world. We are proud of our Washington beer and Fremont Brewery makes some beers to be proud of.
Universale Pale Ale – This is the flagship brew of Fremont Brewery
Interurban India Pale Ale – Their IPA, named in honor of the famous Waiting for the Interurban statue
Abominable Winter Ale – This winter ale is available in several incarnations depending on how a particular batch was aged and blended.
Special beers – Fremont Brewery participates in community festivals and indulges in their passion by crafting a variety of special beers. Their unfiltered Raspberry Lambic was a big hit at the Fremont Ocktoberfest. I am looking forward to the saisons that they are brewing for the upcoming Belgianfest.
Organic beers – Fremont Brewing uses organic hops and grain as much as possible but they are not yet certified. They are working on increasing the availability of quality organic hops and grains.
Fremont Brewery beer is sold by keg and growler at the brewery. You can check out the list of establishments that have Fremont Brewery kegs but you will need to check with your favorite brew pubs to see if it is currently on tap. A great place to enjoy a Fremont Brewery beer is at their Urban Beer Garden.
Urban Beer Garden
Thursday through Saturday, 4-8pm, Fremont Brewery opens it doors to its eclectic tasting room. Here you can enjoy the classic Fremont Brewery beers as well as their “artisan wonder brews”. It is a great opportunity to try out some truly unique beer or to sample variations on the classics. Last time we were there, we sampled three incarnations of the Abominable Winter Ale:
- Classic Abominable Winter Ale
- Oak aged Abominable Winter Ale– 1/3 classic Abominable Ale, 1/3 Abominable Ale aged in oak whiskey barrel, 1/3 Abominable Ale aged with a white oak spiral
- Whiskey Aged Abominable Winter Ale– 100% aged 3 months in oak whiskey barrels
The tasting room reflects the characteristics of Fremont. It is comfy, funky and friendly. Families are welcome here, there is a toy box and two families were enjoying their take out pizzas with their kids the last time we were there. Leashed and well behaved dogs are welcome but Ebony was the only dog there last week.
Bowls of free pretzels are on the tables but that is the only food available from the tasting room. Flyers listing nearby take out and delivery establishments are available and you are welcome to bring in your own snacks.
Matt Lincecum was a home brewer for many years because beer matters to him. To bring his vision for a sustainable brewery into reality, he brought in two brewers: Master Brewer Matt Lincoln and Brewer Aaron Golston.
Matt Lincoln comes from Goose Island Brewery, where he was involved in all aspects of the brewery. He is especially well known for his skill in creating sour beers. Yum!
Aaron Golston was brewing at Thirsty Bear Brewery before he came to Fremont Brewery. Here, Aaron is valued for his lab expertise in the brewing process.
Sara Nelson, Chief Strategist, was delighted that they were going to the be the featured brewery for the first month of a new decade. We met with Sara during at the Urban Beer Garden on New Years Day. Matt was at home recovering from back surgery so he can start the new year healthier and happier. We couldn’t help but ask Sara about what the new year would bring to Fremont Brewery.
- Double capacity in brewing, distribution, tasting room– Fremont Brewery just added two shiny new 30 barrel unitanks to the family. This will allow their 15 barrel brewery more flexibility in creating special one off brews as well as making more Fremont beer available to brew pubs and restaurants.
- Roof top garden, greenhouse and tasting room deck– These goals are big part of their sustainability goals as well as doubling the opportunities for the public to enjoy the beer.
- Reducing their Carbon Footprint – Fremont Brewery is working with a number of resources, experts and organizations to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their energy consumption.
I started this post talking about the passion and politics of Fremont Brewery, we will explore their sustainability goals and practices in more detail in a subsequent post.