When you do anything in the military there is always an operations order with a detailed mission statement. So when owner and Army veteran Jared Wharton planned his brewery, Forward Operating Base (FOB) Brewing Co., he too came up with a mission statement. “The mission of FOB is to serve great beer to America’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and those who love them,” he explains.
FOB is a newer brewery in Dupont, Washington, and has been open six months, christening each beer release with some military connection as the name. Like most military guys, Wharton loves him some acronyms — FOB for forward operating base, conveniently located outside of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He chats with us here about the current list of beers he’s making, how military and yoga do mix and that are all welcome at the taproom.
1) What brews are you currently making?
Right now we are in the transition from the heavy darker brews like stouts and moving into the lighter more drinkable summer beers. We are now serving 7.62 extra pale ale. The name is a play on words as the 7.62 is the alcohol content as well as the size of a common military ammunition round. It’s made with a standard hop, Tomahawk, and a new hop called Medusa. Once the weather warms up, wheat will come into play and I will make Charlie Don’t Surf, an American pale wheat ale and Audie, a German hefeweizen.
2) You have a section on your website for physical training (PT) and have begun offering Beer Yoga which doesn’t seem to fit the idea of military PT. How did that come about?
A retired Sergeant Major came in one day and admired my collection of Yoga Joes — which are plastic army soldiers in yoga positions. He said to me, “you know I am a yogi. You should offer a yoga class.” I told him he would have to arrange it. He came back a few days later with his yoga instructor and we set everything up. The first session over 60 people attended. Beer Yoga with Yogini Hylan Hampton was so popular it’s on the schedule twice a month now.
3) What’s your brewing philosophy?
Right now I am making what I want; I just want to be able to make more of it. Ninety-five percent of the hops we use come from the Yakima Valley. Our yeast is from Imperial Yeast Co. in Portland. American hops are bigger and more fruit-forward and we also import noble hops from Germany. These are more traditional with flavors of herbs and spice. It comes down to which products I like best and that it is good quality.
4) Are civilians welcome at FOB?
Funny you should ask that as we’ve had people stop in and ask if they were allowed to be here. We also get lots of questions about the name. Everyone is welcome here even though we have a military theme. I got the idea when visiting restaurants in the local community where a high school player’s shirt would be hung on the wall or firefighters’ memorabilia. I kept thinking where is the military guys’ place to hang a shirt? At FOB, we have photos of local heroes, unit memorabilia as well as repurposed military surplus items. We like to say FOB is a warm, inviting interpretation of military facilities.