Bites and Brews

Keep your mouth busy

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

When you’re new to town, the first order of business is to unpack your worldly belongings and move in to your new place of residence. The second, most likely, is to figure out where to go to keep your mouth busy and your stomach happy.

If you’re just arriving in Bellingham (I’m looking at you, Western Washington University students), you’re in luck. With two food-and-drink focused events coming up in the near future—the Bite of Bellingham and Bellingham Beer Week—there’s never been a better time to belly up to the table and settle in for the long haul.

Whether your tastes run more toward pizza and burritos or fine dining selections, the 8th annual Bite of Bellingham will offer a little bit of everything for a variety of palates. More than 20 area eateries will be offering bite-sized fare at the Sept. 22 event at the Depot Market Square, and those who attend can also vote on their favorites.

Here’s how it works; when you show up, purchase tickets for $1 each (each “bite” requires a different amount of tickets). Then take a stroll and look at what each eatery is offering—whether it’s a slice from Alice’s Pies, a seafood surprise from Bayou’s Oyster Bar, a sweet thing from Mount Bakery or Pure Bliss Desserts, pasta from the Table, or a savory treat from the Lighthouse Bar & Grill (among others).

Once you’ve had your fill, vote on your favorites in categories such as “Best Bite,” “Dreamiest Drink,” “Sweetest Sweet” and “Best Local Bite.” Results will be tabulated later that day, and you’ll leave with a new favorite restaurant—or three.

By the time you’re in line to sample gustatory goods at the Bite of Bellingham, the second annual Bellingham Beer Week will already be in full swing. From Sept. 20-29, the collaborative event will highlight the delicious liquid in all its thirst-slaking glory. In fact, they’ll even be involved with the Bite by offering local brews at the event’s beer garden. But that’s not all.

“I think what’s most unique about Bellingham Beer Week is its wide variety of beer-related events,” organizer Aubrey Lawrence says. “There’s everything from beer author visits to brewer nights, a brews cruise to beer trivia, special beer releases to beer movies, and all sorts of beer festivals to food-and-beer tastings (including multi-course meals, desserts, cheeses and chocolates).

Boundary Bay Brewery, Kulshan Brewery, and Chuckanut Brewery will all be taking part in the more-than-weeklong event, and they’ve even joined forces to create a Collaboration Beer—a Belgian-style ale described as being both “dark” and “strong.”

And, in addition to the events mentioned above, there will also be brewery tours and a variety of happy hours, specials and events at establishments such as the Copper Hog, Elizabeth Station, Grand Avenue Alehouse, Goat Mountain Pizza, McKay’s Taphouse, Dashi Noodle Bar, the Green Frog, and Old World Deli.

If the wealth of decisions at the Bite of Bellingham and Bellingham Beer Week threaten to overwhelm you, don’t fret. You don’t have to eat and drink everything, or take part in every event on the roster. Pick and choose wisely, and, above all, enjoy yourself.

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