Take a Gold-Medal Brewcation

Photo Courtesy of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, by Heather Hulbert

Do you possess a discerning palate that craves the complexities and nuanced flavors of fine craft beer? A big slice of the Northwest population would reply with a resounding “yes!” So, if you haven’t investigated the brew scene in Bellingham, Washington, head to this charming city just south of the Canadian border to sample what local brewmasters are cooking up. From stouts to sours, from pilsners to dunkels, and from ales to lagers, the Bellingham brew scene covers the expansive universe of beer. With dozens of breweries, pubs and taprooms, the scene is best experienced on a journey down the Bellingham Tap Trail. Passports in hand, beer adventurers can taste the best of what this beer town has on tap.

Bellingham’s 85,000 inhabitants love outdoor adventure and beer, not necessarily in that order. And the city’s brewmasters deliver the latter in a big way. In 2018, Bellingham craft breweries won a whopping 47 medals in state, national and international beer competitions. Maybe it’s the water or the creative chutzpah of the brewmasters. According to Kulshan Brewing owner Dave Vitt, the secret sauce is a figurative group hug―a genuine sense of community and collaboration that’s pervasive among Bellingham brewers.

“We’ve got a really close-knit group of brewers that communicates with one another and that shares information,” Vitt says.

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