Fruit and beer. A combination that until a coupled decades ago seemed idiotic. After all, wine doesn't require a pineapple wedge or a slice of orange to make it "taste better" but here we are, after the folks at Corona postulated that lime makes their beer better. Truth is, the Belgians have been putting fruit in their beer for centuries, they just made a point of not using it as a garnish. Rather, the monks of Belgium choose to incorporate fruit in their fermented ales by incorporating the harvest into their beers. Like the monks of old, Aslan takes inspiration, not from the recent trend of incorporating garnish and instead add fruit in the barrels.
We purchased the strawberries, as we do with most of our organic fruit, from Hedlin Family Farms in La Conner, WA. Skagit Valley is an extraordinary agricultural space in this world, and we are lucky enough to be able to capture it in our beer from time to time. In the wine world, this sense of time and place encapsulated in a drink is called Terroir.
Starting with the Belgian-inspired Saison, the brewers of Aslan plot, grunt, and sweat; with each bag of grain milled and each revolution completed by their paddle; as they produce this classic style ale. Before long the beer is transferred into barrels, where along with macerated fruit, such as Strawberries, the beer hibernates for 8 months before being blended into bottles. A few months later, in between sips, the beer has been deemed ready for you to enjoy. The end result is a beer that showcases complex notes of brett and fruit.
Bottles are on sale at both The Depot and their first location with the draft only being available at The Depot. In addition to Strawberry Dojo, Aslan Brewing also has Peach Dojo still available as well. Aslan Brewing Company is located at 1330 N Forest St, Bellingham, WA 98225. For more information, visit https://aslanbrewing.com/ which includes hours, current releases and their second location Aslan Depot.
IT ALL STARTED IN THE SUMMER OF 2012, as a conversation over a pint of beer at a local Bellingham pub. We shared our dreams and soon realized that the elements of our future were sitting amongst us: a businessman, a craft beer believer and, most importantly, a brewer. Together, Frank Trosset, Pat Haynes, and Jack Lamb would go on to build and operate a pilot brewery in Downtown Bellingham, where, for the next twelve months of our lives, we would research and develop the knowledge and skills needed to start our own commercial microbrewery and restaurant.
We called it ASLAN BREWING COMPANY, and quickly realized its identity through our personal commonalities. With a commitment to organic ingredients, locally sourced goods, and low-impact practices, we aimed to offer the community something new and refreshing, the sustainable way. As for “ASLAN”: a lion is the King of the Jungle, a regal figure rooted in nature, and aslan is the Turkish word for lion. This aligned our desire to operate a world-class brewery all while preserving the raw and exotic elements of the world. Through hard work and perseverance, we brewed over 130 original pilot batches, connected with local brewers and beer lovers alike, and designed a business plan catered to craft quality and creativity.
In the final days of Summer 2013, we were given the keys to what would become Aslan’s Brewpub. Plans and permits in hand, we began our nine-month journey into construction that was done primarily by us, Boe and Don Trosset. After months of unconditional commitment, Boe Trosset was added as an invaluable member of the ownership team. Fast forward to today and we are four great friends who have together manifested our dream of owning and operating an organic brewery. We are proud and fortunate to be working with many of our close friends and to be part of the amazing community that is Bellingham.