From the Lake Michigan to Lake Washington. A brewer's journey.

From the Lake Michigan to Lake Washington. A brewer's journey.

Ask anyone over 40 about life beyond smartphones, Instagram, or Netflix, and they will recall going to movies, hanging at the beach, or sharing stories around the campfire. One might consider it a halcyon period when one wasn't absorbed by the distractions and obstructions created by population growth and digital over-stimulation. Which probably explains why Matt surrenders a smile recalling his formidable years spent along the lakes of Michigan.

Like so many who walk its sidewalks, bike its trails, and daydream in the reflection of its waterways, Matt has called Seattle his home for over 10 years. A relatively recent expat, hailing from the "high-five" state, Matt arrived both out marital necessity (supporting his spouse's need for familial comfort) while simultaneously accepting work at an immature brewery, not yet birthed upon the ravenous imbibers of the Puget Sound area. Had it not been for a few episodes of dubiousness in his early life, the marriage, the job, and the migration wouldn't have occurred.

As a High School valedictorian, Matt could best be described as your garden-variety young adult, being active in both Cross Country while indulging in moments of introspection from the words of Vonnegut. As with numerous adults the metamorphosis from immature adult to slightly-more-mature adult didn't start until college, when practicing the disciplines needed for an English major.  Comparable to the reliable stereotype associated with a college student's ambition, an education only delayed his unstable focus towards coursework, with occasional fits of distraction bursting forth resulting in fits of writing. Eventually this philosophy of planning something provincial, while failing to accept anything incomplete became a lifestyle. 

This lifestyle would occasionally hibernate, often replaced with attainable goals like employment or a well-brewed homebrew, before re-emerging and inspiring a need to change careers. Much like the crab or stoic elk, Matt shed his old life once again to enlist his love of cooking at a nearby cooking school. Of course as you probably surmised, this 'love' didn't last long before being replaced by something more appropriate on the steps of the American Brewers Guild school. It was here, after sucessfully completing multiple weeks of courses, combined with a discussion with ABG owner/instructor Christine McKeever, that he accepted a 5-week internship in the role of lab technician at Chicago's Goose Island Brewing Company.

To utter the cliche, fate it seemed would finally provide Matt the joy and accomplishment that he attempted so many times prior. Matt would go on to complete his internship before accepting a full-time position as a cellarman and assistant brewer. Chasing the breadcrumbs dropped throughout his life, it's not difficult to see what would happen next. You guessed it, another change, requiring a migration from the humidity and heat of Chicago for the fog and rain of Seattle. As it turned out the decision to move was directly connected to a recent marriage to his now wife and mixed with a dose of homesickness. Timing it seems would be everything by 2006.

Around the time Matt was making his way to Seattle, another brewer who, having worked for breweries like Bighorn Brewing and Far West Ireland, was seeking independent-ownership while maintaining an address in the shadow of Seattle. Located in Redmond, Black Raven Brewing was in the midst of construction when they sought an experienced brewer to take on the role of brewer for an incomplete brewery. Unfortunately for Matt, the request was a few months premature, given he and his wife were returning to Seattle that June. Opportunity wasn't without duplicity, as a brewery in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood was looking for a brewer to assist in creating one of the neighborhood's newest breweries since Hale's Ales opened near the Burke Gillman Trail. Weighing the decision of taking a sizeable reduction in pay, when compared with his work at Goose Island, Matt accepted the role of brewer for Matt Lincecum and Sara Nelson.

As you probably guessed by now, that detemined high school valedictorian who never finished college, never became an accomplished chef, became Matt Lincoln head of brewing operations for Fremont Brewing Company. Like his favorite author Vonnegut, Lincoln has inspired countless others to think, dream, and above all appreciate something special. 

Today, Matt is the proud godfather to a flourishing brewery that continues to grow both in size and reputation throughout the region and the country. Not bad for a small-town, lake-loving, dreamer from the 'High Five State'.

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