Owners: Jack Lamb, Frank Trosset, Boe Trosset and Pat Haynes
Why Bellingham? “There’s easy access to recreation. In 10 minutes you can be in the mountains, in the Chuckanuts, at one of five lakes, you can be in the Sound, the beach, the forest - you can seriously be anywhere. That, to me, is really fun. Bellingham is a breath of fresh air.” (Jack)
Favorite shop downtown? Brandywine, 21st Century Bowling, Backcountry Essentials and the Farmer’s Market (Jack)
One of the relatively recent breweries to pop up in Bellingham is Aslan Brewing Company on North Forest Street. With a large amount of breweries in the city, how does one stand out from the other? From the beginning, owners Jack Lamb, Frank Trosset, Boe Trosset and Pat Haynes decided they wanted to only make organic beer. Even though they pay three times the amount for ingredients, they made the decision to give the community what it wants and deserves. Producing 30 to 40 beers a year, Aslan also stands out by pushing the boundaries on making creative beer.
The idea for Aslan started one night at the Green Frog on North State Street. Jack and Frank were drinking beer and talking about what they wanted to do in life. They both had part-time jobs at the time, but knew they could accomplish something greater together. Then it was decided - they were going to make beer. Frank brewed the beer and Jack was the businessman. Frank came up with the name Aslan, which means lion in Turkish and Romanian. The business partners wanted a mascot for the company that was rooted in nature. “What better that the king of the jungle?” Jack said. The word Aslan was also much more interesting and exotic than simply lion, which more accurately describes their craft beer.
Aslan began in a little warehouse downtown in September 2012, when Pat joined Jack and Frank. The business grew slowly, but right away, the guys knew they were aiming for the highest quality organic beer they could make. During the first year, a business plan was built and they received funding to move to their current location. Boe joined in on the business endeavor when it opened in May 2014. Although it was packed for the first couple months, the beer wasn’t received very well in the beginning. “There was a lot of work to be done, but there was a group of the community that stuck with us,” Jack said. “In the end, they support people who support them.” Aslan’s Batch 15 IPA is a testament to the fact that they kept trying and are willing to say they weren’t perfect from the start. It took 15 tries before they perfected the IPA. After about a year, Aslan beer won its first award and now wins them quarterly.
Aslan is now a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of organic beer for the Pacific Northwest. Aslan isn’t just a brewery, though. It’s a community hub, a restaurant, an event space and gathering place. The owners have been huge on community outreach from the time they started Aslan. Jack attributes the community that kept coming back in the rocky beginning to their success and always aspires to positively affect the community. Since opening the brewery, they have supported, donated and said “yes” to everything they could. “It helps bolster the community we’re in. When we do good for here, we are doing good for ourselves,” Jack said.
One of the ways Aslan supports downtown is by donating to the Downtown Bellingham Partnership’s Spring fundraising campaign: We Are All Downtown Bellingham. Jack views the downtown area as the city center, and understands the value of a strong city center. It’s where people go and are attracted to, and it’s often the first impression people get of Bellingham. To Jack, the DBP is the neighborhood watch, always looking out for others, and making sure people are safe and enjoying themselves. It’s important to the guys at Aslan to contribute to improving the community, thus making it more enjoyable for everyone.
Looking into the future, Jack’s main goal is to ensure quality is sustained with any growth that might happen at Aslan. For now, he and the other owners are having fun making a product people want to buy. They’re enjoying the fun, light-hearted atmosphere, and seeing people smile and try different beers.
Bring a friend and head over to Aslan at 1330 N. Forest St. for some good, organic beer.
Today's post was written by Kristin Foster, Media Intern.