Brews with a view
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
In Bellingham, if one wanted to visit a different brewery, beer garden or cider house each day, it would take approximately a year to get through them all. I kid, but it can hard to keep up with the ever-lengthening list of places to go to slake our collective thirst.
With summer in mind, I’ve temporarily narrowed the criteria to include venues with killer views of Bellingham Bay. In Fairhaven, Paws for a Beer fits the bill. It’s near the water and on the bus line, serves locally procured beverages, and as an added bonus, allows dogs who’ve been carefully vetted a place to hang out and interact with other canines while their owners sip PNW beers, ciders, kombucha and wine. Where: 501 Harris Ave. Info: http://www.pawsforabeer.com
Perched directly above Maritime Heritage Park in downtown Bellingham, the patio at Bellingham Cider Company boasts sweeping views of the waterfront and harbor, socially distanced seating, a mouthwatering menu and a rotating roster of additive-free craft cider made from Washington state apples. Blackberry ginger is my go-to beverage here, and if I’m feeling saucy I’ll order the Blackberry Rum Buck—a craft cocktail made with white rum, BCC blackberry ginger cider, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. Where: 205 Prospect St. Info: http://www.bellinghamcider.com
At Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen, award-winning craft beer can be paired with locally sourced food and a front seat to Bellingham Bay. The list of what’s currently on tap is too long to print in its entirety, but on my next visit I’m leaning toward trying the Mexican Style Lager, which is described as a being “the color of sunshine with a light body, slightly bready malt flavor and thirst-quenching finish.” Add a slice of lime, and I’m good to go. Where: 601 W. Holly St. Info: http://www.chuckanutbreweryandkitchen.com
I once watched a sunset from the expansive Gruff Brewing beer garden off Maple Street that was so breathtaking I couldn’t speak for a few minutes. Started by three childhood friends who grew up in Bellingham and entered the craft beer biz together, the 21-and-over venue is the perfect place to chill, catch up with vaccinated friends you haven’t seen since before the pandemic, and watch the sky while sipping a seasonal selection. Where: 104 E. Maple St., #101. Info: http://www.gruff-brewing.com
Although it hasn’t opened yet, Kulshan Brewing Company’s new pop-up container brewery, Trackside, looks set to debut by the 4th of July. A recent press release noted the locale will be a part of the shipping container village brought to town by the Port of Bellingham, and that part of its seasonal charm will include a 24,000-square-foot beer garden, a grassy area for lounging, picnic tables, yard games, a stage for rotating bands and—yep—a view near Waypoint Park that’s sure to impress. Keep your eyes on Kulshan social media outlets for news about opening day, and then get to the waterfront to try Pump Track Ale. Where: 298 W. Laurel St. Info: http://www.kulshanbrewing.com