Because Bellingham is undeniably a beer town, our breweries get lots of attention. As they should! We truly have some of the best breweries in the northwest right here in our backyard. And while we all love drinking fresh beer from the source, sometimes it’s nice to have a change of scenery. Enter taphouses: with pubs aplenty around Bellingham, it seems there’s always somewhere new to try. For the best value, try your taste-testing during happy hours.
We’ve selected five taprooms around town boasting great beer selections and happy hours. They also happen to be stops along the Bellingham Tap Trail, so be sure to collect those stamps during your travels. Happy trails!
Happy Hour: Monday – Thursday, 3pm – 6pm and 9pm – close. All Day Sunday.
Enjoy $1 off all pints while chowing down on Edamame, Gyoza, and other tasty appetizers.
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Don't forget to come visit us this Friday the 13th for our Grand Opening of our beer garden! Garden opens at 3pm, with a live band at 6pm! Raffle drawings for prizes so don't miss out! #beergarden #beer #craftbeer #localrestaurant #grandopening #pnw #bellingham #bellinghambeer #paleale
Home to a former Japanese restaurant, Hops N Headz is all about variety. They offer an impressive 30 beers on tap, seasonal sushi nights, and a regular menu including salads, burgers, and Asian house specialties. But that’s not all. The large space is excellent for groups. TV’s throughout the business give it a casual sports bar feel, and a wide selection of board games await. Hops N Headz is a great place to go with a group of friends, or even little ones as it’s family friendly.
By far my favorite feature of this taphouse is its Japanese beer garden. Where else can you walk up to a repurposed shipping container and order a beer? Ok, you can do that at Stones Throw. It’s the quaint pond, bridge, and fountains that make Hops N Headz’ outdoor space truly unique. This beer garden oasis usually opens in May, just in time for summer happy hours. Kanpai!
Archer Ale House
Happy Hour: Tuesday – Friday 3pm – 6pm
Featuring Food, Beer, Cocktail & Wine Specials.
We mustn’t forget Fairhaven. Archer has been around since 1992, making it the longest-standing establishment on this list. This English-style pub offers an extensive list of brews, both bottled and on draft. And it feels pretty blooming authentic, too. After descending the steps into Fairhaven’s underbelly, you find yourself seemingly transported across the pond: British brews and whiskeys of the world, Shepherd’s Pies and Fish and Chips. Archer even has a cheeky slogan to bring it all together. “Beer: So much more that just a breakfast drink.”
Happy Hour: Sunday – Thursday, 4pm – 6pm
Enjoy rotating food specials and $1 off pints (and wine).
Much loved by locals and visitors alike, The Local is, well, the local hangout for beer lovers. Its convenient location downtown combined with excellent food and a large, rotating tap list make it darn near unbeatable. Not to mention its neighboring sister business, The Annex. Two sides of the same coin, The Local is a more grown-up drinking and dining establishment, while The Annex is all fun and games. Business in the front, party in the back? Something like that. Check them both out next time you’re thirsty in downtown Bellingham.
The Local’s co-owner Ben Buccarelli also brews over at Menace Brewing, so you can find fresh Menace beers on tap here. Additionally, The Local sets itself apart by making arguably the best Reubens in town. They feature fun, creative beer reviews on social media every week, along with staff profiles on Instagram. Great beer, great food, great staff and environment. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, happy hour. They do that, too.
Happy Hour: Daily 11am – 6pm
Enjoy $1 off draft beers during Happy Hour.
I will forever appreciate McKay’s Taphouse for doing two of my favorite things quite well: pizza and beer. As a WWU college student, at least one of the living room walls in my apartment was adorned with a Colossus pizza box. That was back in the day when McKay’s was a Pizza Pipeline franchise, and its legendary Colossus pizza was described as “26 inches of yumminess that feeds up to ten people”.
Since then McKay’s has dropped the franchise, but owners Dave and Lydia McKay continue to craft tasty pizza and offer over 50 beers on tap. If you’re looking for selection, McKay’s is the place to be. Well known for its laid-back vibe, brewers nights, and other weekly events, McKay’s is easily one of my top choices for craft beer — and happy hour — in Bellingham.
Happy Hour: Monday – Friday 4pm – 7pm
Enjoy $1 off any beverage in the house.
It is my firm belief that any and every drinking establishment roundup should contain at least one good Irish Pub. And in Bellingham, that pub is Uisce. However you choose to pronounce it, the word Uisce means “water” in Gaelic. My interpretation? If you’re thirsty, Uisce can help.
Uisce offers small plates and craft cocktails, but where they really shine — as far as beer lovers are concerned — is in the ale department. You’ll not only find local brews here. From Guinness to Smithwicks, there are always a few European brews to be had, along with plenty of Irish whiskey. And of course, there’s nowhere better to be in all of Bellingham on St. Patrick’s Day than Uisce Irish Pub. Stop by for trivia nights or music events for a lively evening at the pub.