Frank Trosset, brewmaster and one of four co-owners behind Aslan Brewing Co., likens his team to The Boxcar Children. Substitute a successful downtown Bellingham brewery for an abandoned boxcar turned makeshift woodland home, and you’ve got a group that came together to turn bootstrapped passion into beer magic.
“Sometimes, when you see the door open, you don’t ask questions, you just walk through it,” Trosset says. “We’re just a bunch of motivated and talented people all pulling in the same direction. That is, for sure, what makes Aslan what it is.”
Here, Trosset unveils big plans for a new space, and we learn how a steady stream of oldschool hip hop factors into everyday brewery operations.
1) Which of your own current offerings are you digging the most?
Most often it would be the Classic Light Lager. But hops are really my favorite, so when it’s not the Classic, it has been Motorcycle Craig (pale ale) these days. But I also keep a close eye on Batch 15 (IPA), as I can’t leave it alone.
2) Any brewing pipe dreams you’re dying to make a reality?
I’m not sure if it’s a pipe dream since we are making it a reality, but we haven’t spoken about this in a public forum yet, so I think it qualifies. About a block from our brewery, there is a building that is holding an extensive collection of oak barrels, and inside of those we have a very exciting variety of beers. This is a major project that I’ve been working on quietly for a long time, and it’s starting to come to fruition. Eventually this location will be open to the public and we will then begin releasing these beers — several of which have already gone through bottle conditioning and are currently ready for consumption.
I think people who know our brewery, and our look, will be pleasantly surprised at the direction we have gone with the space, the beer and the branding. It’s quite different, but if you’ve been to our brewery and have seen the art “tattoos” inside, it will all make sense. Right now I’m not sure when we will be opening this space and begin releasing these beers, but I can tell you that it’s getting closer by the day.
3) What non-beer beverage is in your glass most these days? What is your favorite way to enjoy it and where?
We jokingly poke fun at Jack, our CEO, about his love of wine. But in reality, we all love it, maybe not quite as much as he does. So when I’m not having a beer, you can bet I’m having a glass of wine. I find a lot of inspiration in it. We end up at the Real McCoy most Fridays after work, but that’s more for cocktails. The wine mostly gets enjoyed by the bottle at Jack’s house.
4) Favorite song, album or artist to jam out to while throwing a few down the hatch?
Oh man, that’s hard. Most often we are listening to ’90s rap in the brewery — Craig Mack, Biggie, 2Pac, — so I’ll go with that.