Fremont Brewery is a family-owned craft brewery that hails from Washington State and was founded in 2009. Fremont is all about local, sustainable products, and they have made their name from brewing small-batch beers with high-quality local ingredients.

And, as far as one ingredient goes, Fremont could not have picked a better spot. It has long been known the western US provides an excellent climate for growing one of beer’s most important ingredients: hops. In fact, according to one source, the hops capital of the nation is, in fact, in eastern Washington State.

The Yakima Valley alone is estimated to produce 75 percent of the nation’s hops supply, according to the same source. That number is up slightly from year’s past, and another source estimates the number of acres used in the Yakima Valley to grow hops to be well over 37,000.

THE FREMONT BREWERY WAY

Perhaps as a result, Fremont Brewery founder/owner, Matt Lincecum has had two things on his mind - great beer and the environment. But long before he was a brewery owner, Matt was an environmentalist, a home brewer, and a community organizer. Plus, in his spare time, Matt also became an attorney specializing in beverage and hospitality law.

Secretly, though, this jack of all trades dreamed of owning his own brewery, and, in 2009, Matt realized this dream. However, as smart and ambitious as he was, his decision to start a small-batch artisan brewery during the “Great Recession” clearly could have been better planned by his own admission on the brewery’s website.

Matt Lincecum

Nevertheless, from the start, Fremont Brewery promised to make beer with made with the freshest local ingredients (organic when possible) that were sustainably produced, and Lincecum and his brewery were also driven to pursue social and economic sustainability as well.

As a result, Fremont Brewery strives to reduce their carbon footprint through a zero-waste production process, conserve the planet through the use of sustainably farmed ingredients from local farms, and every employee receives subsidized family healthcare, transit cards, an employer-matched 401k plan, and paid family leave.

THE MESSAGE IS IN THE BEER

In addition to lobbying the government on subjects such as climate change, clean water, and organic ingredients in “organic” beer, Fremont Brewery has also established conservancy efforts, such as using local grain and protecting local salmon runs.

Fremont Brewing logo

And the proof is in the beer. Cowiche Canyon Fresh Hop Ale uses organic hops from Cowiche Canyon farmers, and the proceeds from its sales go to support the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, including helping to protect local salmon.

Plus, did you know that up until 2010 brewers did not have to use organic hops for their beer to be labeled organic? That’s right. However, thanks in part to the efforts of the Fremont Brewery, that law was successfully changed nationwide in 2010.

Now, you might think with all of this activism, that the brewery only has time for small-batch beer and a limited variety of it, at that. But, not so, as, according to their website, Fremont Brewery offers year-round, seasonal, imperial, barrel aged, series beers, community beers, collaborations, and wonderbeers. And, with 43 of the 126 listed beers on RateBeer scoring a least a 4.0 out of 5, it would also seem that these limited-batch organics beers are not only good for you and the environment, but they are also tasty, too.

FREMONT BREWERY REVIEWS AND AWARDS

BeerAdvocate also rates 42 Fremont Brewery beers with a mark of 4.0 or higher, giving the brewery itself a mark of 3.93 out of five. Moreover, Fremont was the winner of the 2018 Green/Sustainable Business Award by the Greater Seattle Business Association and the 2017 Triple Bottom Line Sustainability Award for Small Business by Sustainable Seattle, among other accolades.

Plus, in a 2015 review of the Best Beer in Every State, MSN picked Seattle's Fremont Brewing and its Kentucky Dark Star imperial stout as the perfect representation of the state of Washington itself. And it is no wonder, as the deliciously sexy 14% ABV imperial stout is barrel-aged on bourbon barrels for sweetness, complexity, booziness and chocolate and vanilla notes.

Fremont Brewery Awards

The beer was so good, in fact, that it bagged a 4.46 out of five rating on BeerAdvocate, which is good enough for the brewery’s 8th most popular beer of all time. So popular, in fact, that there are several iterations of it to choose from.

But, perhaps, their most acclaimed beer is the Universale, a Pale Ale that has won them numerous accolades, including WA Beer Awards Bronze and Silver. The unique twist on this Pale Ale style beer is that it offers a particularly northwestern U.S. twist. By using a select blend of Northwest Pale Roasted malts blended with old world grains, Universale offers an original pale ale malt flavor.

Also, this award-winner features Northwestern U.S. hops varietals such as Centennial and Simcoe® for a citrusy, bright, spicy finish not found in other pale ale beer offerings. The going rate for a six-pack of 12oz. Universale cans seem to be around $10, though, notably, there currently appears to be a shorage online, as we could not order any.

Nevertheless, this 5.6% ABV, 35 IBU has been described as easy-drinking with notes of apple, citrus, and biscuit flavors on top of a bready, piney backbone. Fremont promises that this beer is available year-round and that it is shelf-stable for up to 90 days.

The beer was so good, in fact, that it bagged a 4.46 out of five rating on BeerAdvocate, which is good enough for the brewery’s 8th most popular beer of all time. So popular, in fact, that there are several iterations of it to choose from.

But, perhaps, their most acclaimed beer is the Universale, a Pale Ale that has won them numerous accolades, including WA Beer Awards Bronze and Silver. The unique twist on this Pale Ale style beer is that it offers a particularly northwestern U.S. twist. By using a select blend of Northwest Pale Roasted malts blended with old world grains, Universale offers an original pale ale malt flavor.

Also, this award-winner features Northwestern U.S. hops varietals such as Centennial and Simcoe® for a citrusy, bright, spicy finish not found in other pale ale beer offerings. The going rate for a six-pack of 12oz. Universale cans seem to be around $10, though, notably, there currently appears to be a shorage online, as we could not order any.

Nevertheless, this 5.6% ABV, 35 IBU has been described as easy-drinking with notes of apple, citrus, and biscuit flavors on top of a bready, piney backbone. Fremont promises that this beer is available year-round and that it is shelf-stable for up to 90 days.

OTHER FREMONT BREWERY BEERS

Fremont Brewing Products

So, you can see that a brewery can brew great beer and fight political and social injustice at the same time. Plus, there are just under 45 varieties of Fremont Brewery beer to try. In fact, we have not even talked about their barrel-aged series at all, and, here, the options include some truly delicious-sounding varieties, like Brew 1000, Brew 2000, The Rusty Nail, Bourbon BA Dark Star, BBADS, B-Bomb, Unicorn Tears, Three Matts, and more.

For instance, Brew 2000 was a 2017 Festival of Barrel Aged Beer Gold Award winner for the category of Barleywine/Wheatwine, and it utilizes floor-malted English barley, extended barrel-aging time in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels, and Noble hops to yield a 12.8% ABV, 55 IBU classic barleywine with hint of dried fruit, molasses, and bourbon on top of licorice and winter spices.

This beer is definitely also one that you should try aging, and a 22oz. bottle of it goes for around $23. Another dark beer aged in bourbon barrels is the Rusty Nail, which is an imperial stout with licorice and cinnamon bark, and smoked barley. This heavy-hitting brew is aged for 15 months in 12-year old bourbon barrels and bursts with flavor profiles the bust out in every direction.

We are talking about midnight wheat, roasted barley, flaked oats, and smoked malts blended with Magnum and US Golding hops aged in bourbon barrels on top of cinnamon chips. The result is a 14.5% ABV and 40 IBU’s. The color is dark red to black and you will taste cinnamon, bourbon, coffee, vanilla, cocoa, and smoke.

It is recommended by the brewer to age this ale if you can wait that long for this 2016 RateBeer - Top Beer in Washington award winner. Oh, and Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine also awarded it the Top 16 Beers for 2016 Editors' Picks.

FREMONT BREWERY WRAP-UP

So, just because Fremont Brewery is a brewing facility with a conscience, doesn’t mean they do not pay attention to creating delicious and award-winning beers. In fact, almost any beer that Matt Lincecum and his team create seems to receive some acclaim.

And Matt doesn’t hesitate to give back to the community that made his dream possible, as Fremont Brewing has partnered with the Pink Boots Society, a national organization dedicated to empowering women as beer professionals. Fremont sponsors a 5-week internship in beer-making, as well as a The $2,500 stipend for women who are interested in creating a special batch of beer to be brewed on March 8 for the worldwide event known as International Women’s Day Collaboration Brew Day.

Fremont also supports U.S. veterans, the LGBTQ community, and the ALS Therapy Development Institute, as well as other organizations.

So, you can view Fremont Brewery as a catalyst for change or as a brewery offering organic brews made from local, sustainably farmed ingredients. Either way, Matt Lincecum is living his dream and making a difference in the brewing community and beyond at the same time.

Last update on 2021-04-26 at 12:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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