by Adam Sawyer | Photo © Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
While cities like Portland, Seattle and Bend clamor for the Northwest’s craft beer spotlight, a vibrant scene is burgeoning up north. A scant 25 miles from the Canadian border, Bellingham, Washington, is a college town blessed by location and a life-loving spirit. Situated on the banks of Bellingham Bay with Mt. Baker looming in the distance, the populace of Bellingham is beckoned by all the traditional Northwest recreational pursuits. They also understand that very few things finish a day in the outdoors as well as a couple of well-crafted local beers. And Bellingham has them.
The beer scene in Bellingham is a community. It’s friendly and inclusive. The beers are made with heart and character; qualities that are reflected in every pint. And the restaurants, taphouses and bottle shops of Bellingham serve them with commensurate pride. Here are some of Bellingham’s can’t-miss spots for beer lovers.
Kulshan Brewing Company
The new kid on the block, for the moment at least. The Lummi Indian name for Mt. Baker, Kulshan keeps the focus on beer, letting food trucks handle the kitchen duties at their taproom. Kulshanbrewery.com
Boundary Bay Brewery
The family-friendly Boundary Bay was the first brewpub in Bellingham. Opened in 1995, the cornerstone of Bellingham brewing has amassed more than 70 awards for their beer. Bbaybrewery.com
Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen
Employing a scientific approach to the brewing process, Chuckanut focuses primarily on German lagers. A welcome respite for those seeking a break from hops driven beers. Chuckanutbreweryandkitchen.com
The Copper Hog
The convergence of great beer and great food, this gastropub is heaven for foodies as well as the Happy Hour set. Thecopperhog.com
With two new breweries, Aslan Brewing and Wander Brewing, both slated to open soon, the scene is expanding. Going on its third year, Bellingham Beer Week will be held again this September, celebrating everything the town’s beer culture has to offer.