Meeting of the Minds #4: Friends in Proximity w/ Fremont Brewing

In January of 2015 Tania and I moved to Seattle after I landed a job at Fremont Brewing Company. I remember first meeting my future boss, Matt Lincoln, at a festival we hosted at Crooked Stave called “What the Funk!?” Their barrel-aged beers blew me away at that festival and they instantly became a favorite brewery of mine. After getting my hands on of some of their hoppy beers, I was sold. 

When I decided that I wanted to work in a larger production brewery environment, I applied for a shift brewer/cellarman position at Fremont Brewing. It ended up being a quick transition moving from Crooked Stave to Fremont. A few short weeks after interviewing, we were packing up our life in Colorado and heading for the PNW. Going into Fremont I didn’t realize the opportunities that I would have in trialing different hop varieties and participating in hop selection. Largely due to being so close to Yakima Valley, Fremont has established incredible relationships with multi-generational hop farmers across the valley. 

For this collaboration beer, Fremont sent us two experimental hop varieties, HBC 630 & HBC 692, which are both rising in popularity. HBC 630 is a granddaughter of Warrior® and fairly high in alpha acid. The best way to describe the aroma is a mix of candied cherries and tropical fruit. HBC 692 is a daughter of Sabro™ and has intense grapefruit, coconut and woody notes. The hop blend we created for this beer is well balanced and brings out the characteristics in both hops.

We also brought in malt from Proximity Malt, a new maltster out of Monte Vista, Colorado. We used their Pilsner and white wheat malts along with a small portion of malted rye. Colorado farmers grow excellent high-altitude rye and we thought this would be a unique addition. The end result is a beautiful bright blonde color (maybe the lightest colored beer we’ve made so far)! 

We’ll be releasing Friends in Proximity on Thursday, August 22nd at 3pm in our tasting room (draft and crowlers) so come by and help us celebrate a fun collaboration with one of our dearest friends in the beer industry, Fremont Brewing!


Nick Mader