Drink Local

Getting into the spirits of things


In our corner of the world, efforts to “eat local” are wildly successful, especially in the summertime, when farmers markets abound—as do CSAs, urban garden patches and roadside fruit and vegetable stands. As evidenced by the plethora of upcoming events featuring wine, beer and spirits whose ingredients were also sourced in our foodshed, drinking locally is also gaining a whole lot of traction. Read on to see what we mean.

Our sipping tour begins Sat., July 19, when the Skagit County Historical Museum presents Red Solo Cup at its La Conner headquarters. The 21-and-over event’s main focus will be on liquid refreshments sourced from regional wineries, breweries and distilleries, and those who attend the party will also be treated to music by the C.C. Adams Band. Additionally, those who purchase tickets to the fundraiser—monies raised will benefit the public programs at the museum—can take tours of “It’s a Franklin: Made in Mount Vernon,” an exhibit featuring the museum’s 1898 Franklin motorcycle and a bevy of other sweet vintage rides. When: 2-4pm Sat., July 19. Where: Skagit County Historical Museum, 501 S. 4th St. Cost: $20. More info:

With an edict to “drink local first!,” Sustainable Connections will host its second annual Whatcom Wine & Spirits Fest Sun., July 20 at BelleWood Acres. The beverage-based blowout reads like a “who’s who” of Whatcom County wineries and distilleries, with more than 40 area purveyors taking part. Participants on the lengthy list include Vartanyan Estate Winery, Dakota Creek Winery, Legoe Bay Winery, Masquerade Wine Company, Dynasty Cellars, Samson Estate Winery, Mount Baker Vineyards, and Mount Baker Distillery. Of course, the unique and delicious vodka, brandy, gin and liqueurs offered up by BelleWood Distilling—which bills itself as Washington’s first true “farm to glass” distillery—will also be available for sipping purposes. To offset the effects of the booze, food samples will be provided, and BelleWood will offer additional fare for sale. And, in an effort to make the event as safe as possible, free shuttles will be departing Bellingham’s Depot Market Square starting at 12:30pm. When: 1-5pm Sun., July 20. Where: BelleWood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian. Cost: $25-$32 (designated driver tickets are $10). More info:

Proving that the “drink local” ethos isn’t exactly a new one, the folks at the Anacortes Brewery will host a 20th Anniversary Celebration Sat., July 26 at the Heart of Anacortes. As the 10th-oldest operating brewery in the state, the award-winning pint purveyors focus on small, artisan batches of more than 40 different styles of beer. “I think our variety and consistency is what makes us unique,” head brewer Kevin Pierce says. You can taste for yourself at the beer garden at the birthday bash, and listen and dance to music by the Stilly River Band, the Savage Jazz Trio, Little Joe Argo, Fidalgo Swing, and Hamilton Cox. Activities for kids, food and more will also be part of the frothy festivities. When: 12-7pm Sat., July 26. Where; Heart of Anacortes, 1014 4th St., Anacortes. Cost: Entry is free. More info:

While you’re visiting the hoppy side, be aware that Bellingham Bay Rotary will offer up its annual Brewers by the Bay Sun., July 27 at the Depot Market Square. Once there, you’ll find more than 60 different microbrews provided by more than 30 regional brewers, live music and a feeling of community camaraderie. Incidentally, funds raised during the event will benefit Bellingham Food Bank, Northwest Youth Services, Bellingham Boys & Girls Club. and a variety of other youth and family-focused charities throughout Whatcom County. When: 2-5pm Sun., July 27. Where: Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. Cost: $25-$30. More info:

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