News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co. beckons from “Frelard”

November 18th, 2014 by master

Just west of Fremont proper, the area of fondly known as “Frelard” and parts of Ballard have become home to nearly a dozen breweries. Some such as Hale’s Ales and Maritime Pacific Brewing have a long standing presence in the area while new microbreweries have taken advantage of the mixed commercial and industrial area. One newcomer, Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co. is easily accessible from Fremont along Leary Way.

Located just off of NW Bright Street behind The Leary Traveler, Bad Jimmy’s has set up shop in a garage-like space with a brewing system in the back and tasting room in the front. Set back from the street Bad Jimmy’s beckons with a large garage door in front that is often kept open. With warmer weather in mind a deck was added this past July for additional outdoor seating.

Bad Jimmy’s opened in 2013 after a group of homebrewers, and good friends, decided to take their hobby out of the house. Of the five owners, three have made Bad Jimmy’s their full time passion. Two take care of the brewing and the third handles the books and marketing. With part-time assistance from the other owners this unique team has brought their home-brew and hangout attitude to create a unique tasting experience.

Billy, an owner and brewer has been brewing beer at home for 21 years.  During that time he enjoyed experimenting with new recipes and fine tuning his favorites. When transitioning from homebrew equipment to the larger brewing system Bad Jimmy’s uses some of these recipes didn’t translate. Rather than be deterred Billy embraced the opportunity to experiment more and on a new scale. The result are some of Bad Jimmy’s more unique brews including the Habanero Amber, Cocoa Vanilla Porter, and Spiced Rhubarb Blonde.

What makes Bad Jimmy’s unique amongst the Ballard brewing scene? Billy explains that their beers are highly experimental (i.e. Chai Chocolate Milk Stout) and have a higher alcohol content than most others. Their tasting room is also set up a bit differently. In addition to being dog-friendly and kid friendly (until later in the evenings, dog’s always welcome) Bad Jimmy’s is open 7 days a week so new visitors, regulars, and groups can hangout more often.

Tasting Room Hours are:
Sunday:   Noon to Midnight
Monday – Thursday:   3pm to Midnight
Friday & Saturday:   Noon to 2am

While Bad Jimmy’s does not have a kitchen they welcome outside food and have some very tasty neighbors including the Leary Traveler, Bourbon and Bones, and The Dish. Growler fills are also available. In the Tasting Room’s laid back atmosphere customers compare tastes, ask the Bad Jimmy’s staff brewing questions, or take in a game on the TV. Just like before founding Bad Jimmy’s these gentlemen have created a welcoming place for friends to gather and drink their beer.

And who exactly is Bad Jimmy? It’s the name given to Billy’s former beer belly. Billy and his friends would affectionally scold his stomach, “Bad Jimmy!” Now with his beer belly gone, Billy works hard to provide tasty brews that may contribute to someone else’s Bad Jimmy.

Cheers Bad Jimmy’s!

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A first for Fremont Oktoberfest: a Mister Buxom

September 25th, 2010 by master

Last night was my first Fremont Oktoberfest. I’ve been here for years, but I was always out of town or had other plans. I’m also not that much of a beer drinker. But when in Seattle, you must adapt.

Fremont Oktoberfest makes it easy, though, especially when amusing events punctuate the beer tastings. For instance, the popular boobs and booze combo on tap at the Miss Buxom contest, which I found out, is not just open to women. Two men entered, on a whim, and they weren’t in drag. They were, however, in lederhosen. And guess what, one of them won the contest!

(L-R) Second-place “Schnooki”, winner Bill Henninger (aka “Inglebert”) and third-place “Ivana Von Humpalot”

Bill Henninger and his wife Audry entered the contest at the prompting of contest emcee Red from The End/107.7 FM, who saw their costumes — the Des Moines couple always get dressed up for Oktoberfest — and urged them to get in on the action.

Audry & Bill Henninger

Henninger entered under the alias “Inglebert” and when Red asked him what his favorite sausage was, he replied, “The footlong.” His wife entered under the alias, “Gertrude.” Frequent visitors to regional Oktoberfests, this was their first time at Fremont Oktoberfest. They bought the costumes they were wearing last night for a visit to Munich Oktoberfest in 2008.

Henninger had some stiff competition from his wife, six other women and the other guy wearing lederhosen. But with the Applause-o-Meter going through the roof, Henninger made out with $100 in cash, a $100 giftcard to the Tap House & Grill, and a Fremont Oktoberfest prize pack that included a sweatshirt, tasting tokens and a souvenir 1-liter stein.

While his sisters have been Homecoming and Prom Queens, the former high school football player said this was his first time in such a spotlight. When asked how it felt to be the first-ever Mister Buxom, he replied, “I feel sexy.”

The contest was an entertaining diversion, as was the band that played covers of Pat Benatar, Michael Jackson, and in a most daring move, the Beastie Boys (“No Sleep Till Brooklyn”). But let’s not kid ourselves, the main reason people were here was to drink copious amounts of the hoppy good stuff. Some stayed with the 5-ounce plastic tasting mugs, which came with admission and five tasting tokens, and some forked over $10 for the souvenir 1-liter steins. But with more than 80 microbrews and 11 German beers to choose from, there was plenty to sample all night.

The Deschutes Brewery from Oregon and it’s eye-catching mobile serving station

“Beer me!” was a common phrase, and streams of cigar smoke wafted everywhere, making for a sweet, stinky need to stop breathing for a minute kind of sensation. And that awful blue, blinding light next to the Deschutes mobile wooden keg: please turn that off or down, because it kills the ambience!

But staying focused and on task, beer connoisseurs could wander from tent to tent, with barely any lines, sampling lagers, porters, IPA, brown pale ales, Oktoberfests, etc. to their heart’s delight. The layout of the festival, with wide streets on both 35th and 34th next to the Canal allowed for lots of movement and plenty of space to decompress, even with the increasing crowds.

Lounges were also randomly sprinkled everywhere, so if you needed to kick back, you could.

Some tasty finds so far: Lagunitas’ Little Stumpin Wild, Georgetown Brewing Co.’s Lucille IPA, Kona’s Longboard Lager (and you get lei’d too!) and Flyers’ Proptoberfest.

We hope you’ll have a good time today, too, and tomorrow. Today, we’re checking out the Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving Contest! Pictures later!

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