by Mwiza Kalisa
Fremont Mischief (132 N Canal Street) has opened its doors for business. The distillery features a tasting room and a retail shop with local goods.
Mike Sherlock, the owner, has been in the craft distillery business for 14 years. Sherlock began his career selling fish in Asia, but after sharing a case of whiskey with local fisherman he received requests for more beverages.
Sherlock has been selling whiskey ever since the law for small craft distilleries changed. He says that he hopes to create a destination and add to the ambiance of Fremont. To devote more of his time to Fremont Mischief he sold some of his other businesses.
“We’re glad to be open and glad to be here,” he said. “We really love the neighborhood and we’re glad to be part of it.”
The tasting bar features whiskey, vodka and John Jacob, an original recipe. The 100 percent rye grain whiskey was made by Sherlock’s wife’s great-grandfather. The eight year rye from Fremont Mischief Whiskey is grown in Eastern Washington and the wheat used to produce Fremont Mischief Vodka comes from Ebey Road Farms, a six generation farm in Whidbey Island. At the beginning of next year the tasting room will also feature gin.
Recently Fremont Mischief launched the Commemorative Soldier Whiskey, for “veterans who have served and for the soldiers still on active duty.” The beverage, in a lantern-like package, has different dog tags from fallen or wounded soldiers, their rank and the war that they fought in. 25 percent of the proceeds go towards the soldiers’ families.
In addition to offering spirits the craft distillery has vintage photographs, books, bar utensils, a line of hats and sweaters, jewelry and antiques from the 30s. Sherlock also has a record company, Bootleg Records, which supports local artists. In the summer he plans to host different events where local musicians can showcase their talents.
“We just want to create a new place and a new way to do spirits,” Sherlock said. “We also want to add to Fremont because we plan to be here for a long time.”
Sherlock says that the community has been receptive and he’s certain that the business will grow. “[The response] has been really good and that makes us feel like we’ve done our job and that we’re doing it right,” he said. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the people.”
Fremont Mischief is open 11 a.m.to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.