I find it’s never easy to tell someone about yourself in just a paragraph or two but I will try. My name is Mike Frede and my wife’s name is Tracy Frede. We have been married now for over fifteen years. We have two sons, Stewart and Alex, who are all grown up now. Both of them will be working at the brewery from time to time. Tracy and I both have full times jobs and as much as we would like to make the brewery our full-time job, that may not happen for a while.
We met each other back in 1994 in the building that is now Barley’s Taproom and this is where our love for craft beer started. We spent quite a bit of time there drinking beer being poured out of the old trolley car. Alas, the trolley car is gone now but our love of craft beer is still there.
One of the hobbies that Tracy and I share is a love for visiting breweries. One trip to Asheville, NC and we were hooked. We have also been fortunate enough recently to visit Colorado for a week and tour breweries in the Fort Collins / Boulder and Denver area. An absolutely amazing trip that opened our eyes to what a brewery truly could be. We have really developed a love for the “beer community” at all of these breweries. Each city has its own vibe and the camaraderie between brewers, their customers and the local community is wonderful. The collaboration going on between competing breweries is even more amazing. Brewing a beer with your competition? How awesome is that?
So here is how all this brewery nonsense started. I’ve been home-brewing for over 20 years now. I received a home-brewing kit for Christmas in 1994 and a few weeks later I was drinking something that tasted amazing. Over the next 15 years I brewed off and on depending on the season, how busy our lives were, or when Tracy said enough because my hobby was taking over the kitchen. Gradually my hobby moved to all grain brewing. I still get glares from Tracy about all the equipment in the kitchen. Then she drinks a beer and I’m safe for another week or two.
A couple of years ago, while sitting on the patio at a relative’s house drinking some Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I had a relative ask me, “can you make a beer as good as this?”. My answer without much thought was “Yes”. The look I received back was one of skepticism. So I brewed him up a batch of Pale Ale. “I’m sorry, you were right. I like your beer better.”