BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Frelard Tamales is a beloved Seattle institution that's been selling hand-made tamales since 2015 at various pop ups and from its walkup window near Green Lake.
Bellingham is about to get a taste of those tamales and a brand new brewery from Frelard's owners, husbands Dennis Ramey and Osbaldo Hernandez.
El Sueñito may be the first gay and Mexican-owned craft brewery in Washington — we haven't been able to find another. And it's a dream come true for this couple.
"The name of the brewery — El Sueñito Brewing Company, it means 'the little dream,' Ramey said. "It just speaks to how this has been a dream of ours for years to have this space that we could bring people into and have craft beer and food and get to know the community.”
The duo researched with a road trip to breweries all over the west, discovering details they loved, from padded stools to gender-neutral restrooms, to hooks on tables for hanging coats and purses.
“All those little things that we liked that other breweries were doing, we took note and brought them to this space to make it feel a little more comfortable,” Hernandez said.
Of course the beer's the main thing, and guests can watch it being made on site. The fermentation tanks are open to the dining and drinking space. One of the brewery’s core offerings will be Mexican lagers, and they've done some collaborations with Bellingham brewers using Mexican flavors.
"We did an horchata stout with Kulshan for Day of the Dead last year,” Ramey said. Just one example of the support the new brewery has gotten from their many brewing neighbors in this town known for good beer.
Lagers take longer to make — so the first beer to come out of El Sueñito's tanks will be a West Coast IPA — a beer so new, it's unnamed.
“I'm horrible at coming up with names, that goes to the marketing department,” Ramey said.
"I'll be in charge of that," Hernandez chimed in with a smile.
Frelard Tamales in Seattle has always supported their community and El Sueñito is doing the same.
Last year, they started tabs at Bellingham restaurants for free burritos, coffee, and pastries for folks effected by the flooding in the area. This brewery will also continue another tradition — serving gigantic, delicious tamales (in addition to some other Mexican favorites, the menu was still being developed when we visited).
This couple discovered long ago that tamales and craft beer go together beautifully, and they’re excited to share that discovery with anyone who comes to El Sueñito in Bellingham.
El Sueñito Brewing Company's grand opening is Feb. 17, 2023, and they are asking guests to RSVP online since they're anticipating a crowd. 1926 Humboldt St., Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 543-6809