Sara Nelson


A long-time do-gooder, Sara Nelson earned a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at UW in order to change the world through blowing students’ minds. Unwilling to consign herself to a life of poverty as an under-employed lecturer at small colleges in the middle of nowhere, she bailed from academia and found her true calling working in local politics. She was a policy adviser to Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin from 2002 through 2013 with a brief hiatus from 2008 to 2010 to help start her family business, Fremont Brewing, which was founded in 2008. Fremont Brewing is now the third largest independently owned craft brewery in Washington and its Interurban IPA is the best-selling independent, canned IPA in WA.

When Conlin left office, Sara returned to working full time at Fremont Brewing in 2014 to oversee the company’s expansion into a new, 80,000 square foot production facility down the road in Ballard. She is in charge of external relations such as community partnerships, non-profit donations, media and government relations. She also leads the company’s sustainability programs, ensuring that they are implementing sustainable operations to conserve water and energy as well as procuring the most sustainably produced ingredients as possible. Working for her family business is the perfect expression of her interest in sustainability and community.