We try to support local as much as possible, which is why we started carrying Fremont Mischief gin and vodka several weeks ago. We've been really happy with the products and reached out to the distillery for a tour for more information about the products.
On a chilly July morning we met Kim, outside sales representative, in the courtyard of the distillery. Under the stage and string lights, Kim said the distillery started in 2009 by owners Mike and Patti, both of whom have lived in Fremont for years and owned other businesses in the area before opening the distillery.
On the side of the tasting room, Fremont Mischief honors the farms they source from in the Skagit and Willamette Valley's with photos and write-ups. Washington law requires craft distilleries to source at least 50% of their product locally, which is part of the reason farms are so important to Fremont Mischief.
Fremont Mischief's products are made entirely from scratch, which differs from other products. "If you see bottled or labeled by on the back of the bottle, that's where they've just bottled someone else's product," Kim explains.
The distillery was surprisingly small for producing 22,000 cases of liquor annually. To start the distilling process, flour and warm water are added to a giant tank and stirred for half a day, which produces sugars. From there, the product is put into a fermentation tank and yeast is added. Fremont Mischief uses a 48 hour yeast and a 4.5 day yeast, which eats the sugar and creates alcohol. Immediately the product is 5-10% alcohol.
From there, the mixture is put into giant copper chambers where it's distilled by heating. The fumes rise to the top, which go into a condenser and cools into a liquid. The first 10 percent produced is called the "head," which Kim says doesn't taste very good and they toss. The next part is called the "heart," which is the best part. The remaining 30 percent is the "tails," which is a combination of the head and heart.
The distilling process takes several hours and runs everyday. After distilled, the product goes into barrels and is stored across the street from the distillery.
Fremont Mischief makes and sells whiskey the most. When they decided to produce gin, Mike Googled a recipe for gin online. "Not surprisingly, it wasn't very good," Kim said. He went through 21 rounds of blind taste testing with 600 Adobe employees (neighbors of the distillery) to get it right. Now the gin is steeped with 12 botanicals, including lavender, peppercorn and juniper.
Bottling and labeling takes place on site and is done entirely by hand. Literally every bottle!
Finally, Mike and Patti strongly believe in giving back to their community. Portions of their sales go to Mary's Place (as alcohol is often a contributing factor to domestic violence) and the Police Commission, among others.
We've enjoyed selling Fremont Mischief's products and feel good knowing we're supporting a local business. Tours are open to the public, so the next time you're in the area we highly recommend checking it out!