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With a killer beer garden out front and killer beer pouring inside, Fremont Brewing Co. is a gigantic part of the Seattle beer scene. On a sunny day, you’re likely to see every seat taken including the stone bleachers set up by the entrance. It was standing room only when we arrived at Fremont Brewing Co.—not that we minded since we were both sipping a Dark Star which I would argue might be one of my favorite beers. I’m not saying I would kill myself for it but if there was only one keg left, I’d probably offer up my right leg, no questions asked.
The beer garden was noisy as people got in some after work beers. In the line to order, we stood next to some impressive refrigerators stocked with cans, bombers, and growlers of some Fremont staples like Universale Pale and Dark Star.On tap were some new guys this season including The Brother, an imperial IPA that Fremont gave the tag line, “Hops First, Hops Last and Hops All The Way Through!” They were also pouring a Randall of their 77 Select (a session IPA) with lavender and grapefruit. Our guide, Tony, later told us that they harvest the lavender across the street and freeze it to use later in the season.
When Shaun and I met up with Tony, he was all smiles on a rare, sunny Seattle day. All the breweries in town are finalizing their Seattle Beer Week plans and Fremont Brewing Co. is no exception. We heard rumors of a beer dinner at The Whale Wins and are already wishing it was May.
As the tour begins, Tony offered us samples of a beer they’ve been aging in wine barrels. Supposedly, it’s not quite ready but there were no complaints coming from us. They’re also gearing up to release their Summer Ale, lovingly described as “tangerine flower in a glass,” on April 1st. There’s a lot coming up from Fremont Brewing despite the fact that they mostly only distribute in Seattle, barring a few exceptions.
As we moved along on the tour, Tony showed us their cold room—not quite as welcome a relief as it is at Jester King on a hot Texas day.We moved on to viewing the tanks and Tony informed us that they send all of their spent grain to a local farmer who, in turn, supplies them with some of the hops they use in their beer. Fremont is dedicated to being sustainable in the equipment they buy and in the way they use any leftovers.
They also have plans to expand the side of the building they currently occupy. The yoga studio next door is leaving so Fremont has grand plans to convert it into another seating area with a separate bar. Their hope is that it will alleviate some of the bottleneck of the main seating area and allow people to spread out.
At the end of our tour, we sampled Fremont’s Rusty Nail, a bourbon barrel aged 1st Nail. Supposedly, when this beer was released for local bar, Pine Box’s 2nd Anniversary party, it sold out. In 15 minutes. And yeah, it’s that good.
The tour came to an end and we said goodbye to Tony as he went back to his Fremont Brewing responsibilities. Until the next time we get out there, we’ll be sipping the delicious suds they put out and eagerly anticipate what Fremont Brewing has in store next.