If you’re into fantastic local brews, you need to explore the Bellingham beer scene.
Bellingham is a College town in northern Washington, across the border from Canada. It’s known for its great community and cool activities. But another thing it’s known for is the amazing beer scene.
Right now, Bellingham has at least 13 breweries within city limits. Most of them are close to each other in the downtown area. For those that are a little further out, you can reach them by bike or car.
The Bellingham beer scene is also dog-friendly, with lots of options to sit outside. Plus, all but three breweries are family friendly, so don’t worry about leaving the kids behind.
None of this would matter if the beer wasn’t good. And believe us, Bellingham beer is some of the best local beer in Washington.
Check out our guide to the Bellingham beer scene.
Get Started with the Bellingham Tap Trail
With so many great options for beer in Bellingham, it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why beer lovers created the Bellingham Tap Trail.
The Tap Trail is a printed guide of all the breweries in and around Bellingham. They also publish information about the beer-related events, like Bellingham Beer Week.
Grab one of their “passports” and get a special stamp at each brewery. Once your card is full, trade it in for cool Tap Trail swag.
A Tap Trail pub crawl is a great way to explore the city. But don’t forget to eat along the way!
Bellingham Beer Spots You Have to Visit
If you don’t have time for a full pub crawl, there are still some great breweries you should visit.
Wander Brewing is one of the top Bellingham beer locations. They have a great beer selection, with a popular assortment of darker beers. Ask for samples, or buy a flight for the table before you settle on one drink.
They don’t serve food, but there are food truck options available. If you want a drink or something to eat, you can get up and order from the bar.
There’s lots of seating both inside and outside. Wander Brewing is a great spot if you want to chill out for a few hours.
Aslan Brewing Company
Aslan Brewing is another popular spot in Bellingham. They offer their own beer plus a vegetarian-friendly menu.
Most patrons recommend their IPAs. But if that’s not your beer of choice, there are also good stout options.
The brewery has outdoor seating and is good with both children and dogs.
If you love IPAs, then get to Structures Brewing. They have a selection of IPAs and Double IPAs. While they’re good at what they do, Structures offers other kinds of beers like stouts.
Seating areas are not as large as other breweries, but the atmosphere is nice and relaxed. It’s a good place to visit with your friends after spending all day at the Downtown Farmer’s Market.
Illuminati Brewing Co.
The fact that Illuminati Brewing is good should be no secret. This brewery offers unique drinks with creative twists. The dark beers are popular, plus they have a beer called Purple Rain that is actually purple! They also have a great lineup of English ales.
Illuminati Brewing partners with Masquerade Winery to create a great craft alcohol experience. If you’re looking for something to nosh on while you sample the beers, try their cheese and meat platter.
Stones Throw Brewery
The Stones Throw Brewery is within walking distance from downtown Bellingham. It’s also a “stone’s throw” from Boulevard Park and the Interurban Trail.
Other than the great location, this microbrewery has a lot of events to offer. They host trivia nights, giant Jenga, and a different food truck each night. It’s both dog and family friendly, so don’t worry about leaving anyone at home.
They offer a variety of different brews that they switch out regularly. They also sell hard ciders and their own ginger ale, a nice departure from the typical IPA and stouts. Their Raincounty Liquid Sunshine Lager is one of their most popular drinks.
Kulshan Brewing Co.
Kulshan Brewing Co. is one of those Bellingham beer spots you have to visit more than once. Their seasonal offerings make up a large part of the menu, so one stop won’t give you the full experience.
They also round out their beer selection with a list of hard ciders. The ciders come in different flavors, like the blackcurrant cider and marionberry ciders. There’s also a pear cider you can try.
While they do sell cups of peanuts for a $1 each, their main food options are food trucks.
Menace Brewing is in the Fountain District of Bellingham. For a long time it was an auto body shop, but now it’s a great place to get a cold Hefeweizen.
The staff is very well informed, and a few of them even judge beers in competitions. So rest assured that if you ask for a recommendation, you’ll get a good one.
The tap room is dog-friendly, and street parking is rarely a problem.
Gruff Brewing Co.
Gruff Brewing is a little out of the way compared to other breweries, but their beers make up for it. Besides, they have plenty of signs that direct you to where you need to go.
The patio is large and inviting with lots of seating and fire-pits. They don’t have a lot of food, but there’s often a food truck nearby.
Gruff Brewing is also very dog-friendly, and many people take advantage of that. Expect to see lots of cute pups when you visit.
If your friend isn’t a beer person, they often have a few ciders on the menu. As for the beers, the IPAs are always a hit.
Want More Recommendations for Bellingham?
If you’re excited about the Bellingham beer scene, and want to explore even more of what Bellingham has to offer, then check out our other recommendations. Bellingham is a great city with lots to offer, and we want to be your guide.
Check out some of our other neighborhood guides here.