We mentioned back in June that Seattle Mariners reliever Chris Ray and Fremont Brewing Company were teaming up on a special brew called Homefront IPA that benefits Operation Homefront, an organization that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members.
That beer is officially on sale now and the process by which it was brewed is one I just had to share:
I wish the Internet were capable of transmitting smells, because baseball bats probably haven’t smelled quite like this since Babe Ruth cleaned out his locker for the final time. And the aroma was because Ray used a dozen maple bats as part of the aging process of Homefront IPA, a beer he created with the Fremont Brewing Company that was released in Seattle this past weekend.
The bats soaked in the beer for three weeks. (Ichiro would be appalled.) The result is a good, solid and hoppy IPA with perhaps a faint hint of a hard-hit grounder up the middle.
“I’m not sure if it adds a ton of flavor, but it ties it into baseball and gives it a unique twist,” Ray said. “It might add a little bit of flavor, but maple is a hard wood — that’s why they use it for bats — so there’s not a whole lot of absorbing going on. There are a lot of beers that age on oak chips and toasted oak chips, so we just thought if it added a little flavor, great. If not, it’s a nice story.”
Don’t worry, the Mariners aren’t actually using those bats (not that it could hurt at this point). They’re going to be auctioned off for charity.
Fremont Brewing produced 15 barrels of Homefront IPA, which is available at Safeco Field and various locations all around Seattle. Here in Fremont you can find it at The Red Door, The Pacific Inn and the Fremont Brewing beer garden.