When I first arrived in Seattle and started asking people for their views on the craft beer scene they talked mostly about local brews on tap at neighborhood taverns and ale houses. And more often than not it would be Manny’s or Mac & Jack’s. Then, after a while, I started hearing a third name…
Among the 25+ microbreweries within Seattle’s city limits these three (among a handful of others) are notable in that they are keg-only producers: they have no onsite brewpub, nor do they bottle their ale for retail sale. If you want to sample their suds you have to find them on tap at a bar or restaurant, or go to their tap rooms at the breweries and buy a keg or fill a growler.
I previously posted about my visit to Georgetown Brewing, where I picked up a couple of growlers of their excellent Manny’s Pale. And since Mac & Jack’s is so widely available I haven’t needed to visit them to sample their brews. Georgetown Brewing and Mac & Jack’s are well established Seattle area brewers, both founded during the 1990s.
Fremont Brewing is a different story: they opened during summer 2009 and have made a name for themselves very quickly. However their kegs are yet to cross Lake Washington to the eastside restaurants where we eat, and I can’t justify driving across town to their brewery to pick up a growler.
Being, as its name implies, located in Fremont, the self-proclaimed Center of the Universe, riding buses and hiking in the spirit of Fueled by Beer, while carrying half gallon growlers, is somewhat impractical; so imagine how pleased I was to learn that Fremont Brewing recently partnered with Whole Foods to sell pre-filled growlers at Seattle area Whole Foods stores under the ‘Fresh Fills’ program (read about it).
Anyway, as soon as I heard I ran down to my Bellevue Whole Foods and sure enough, they had beautiful Fremont Brewing growlers filled with Interurban IPA, Universale Pale, and Summer Solstice ale. I picked up the Universale for our first taste. A really nice pale ale with more hoppiness than most, while not as in your face as an IPA. I look forward to getting my next growler, which will likely be Interurban.
Great job FBC… You’ve pulled off a phenomenal marketing coup by partnering with Whole Foods. I hope it is mutually beneficial – your beer deserves to succeed.