The Beer Baron is born

How Beer Baron leveraged Fremont Bank's expertise to become a Bay Area staple.

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Livermore, Pleasanton, Oakland, and Santa Rosa

Products used

Trusting the fizz and the finances

Growing up as the kids of a local small business owner, Harpreet and Raj Judge knew they wanted to build something of their own. When they were ready to open their own endeavor — the first Beer Baron location — they also knew they wanted to focus on the important stuff: craft beers, small batch whiskeys, craft cocktails, a delicious menu and creating a place people loved to come to.

As they started out, the brothers borrowed a cooler from their dad and sought a banking partner who would help them navigate the process from organizing payroll to securing the right loans.

As lifelong community members, they turned to Fremont Bank because of our longstanding reputation in the area. They wanted to know that when they called, someone would answer. Now, the brothers couldn’t have known we’d also help name their venture — but we try to be a full service supporter of businesses!

Beer Baron was a hit right from the start and the Livermore location quickly became a popular watering hole and meeting spot.

Partners through thick and thin

When it came time to expand, the brothers knew what worked — for their business and their banking relationship. Three more locations quickly followed the popular flagship spot — in Pleasanton, Oakland and Santa Rosa. At every turn, Fremont Bank worked to ensure there was more ribbon cutting than red tape.

No endless hassles. No months and months of phone calls and emails. No getting tied up with red tape. They were willing to bend over backwards.
- Harpreet Judge

But our heroes were not without challenges. Like many business owners, Raj and Harpreet had to navigate COVID, with the added obstacle of Harpreet being stuck abroad in India and unable to return home at the outset of global pandemic.

What might have been a catastrophe instead became another chance for the brothers to trust each other, trust their customers would keep showing up and trust their bank. The Judge brothers knew they could lean on their great relationship with Terick Albert, Vice President of Commercial Banking. And that the bank would lean on its relationship with the Small Business Administration. All that leaning would, in turn, help keep the doors open and the drinks and food flowing.

It’s a leap of faith and a lot of work to start a business. It takes deep knowledge of your industry and a desire to build relationships with people as passionate about your success as you are. So the next time you stop by Beer Baron, maybe raise a glass to great family businesses, partnerships that last through thick and thin, and parents who donate their coolers.