With the return of sweater weather in Bellingham, some of the best beers of the year are once again upon us. No, I’m not talking about pumpkin spice ales. Think fest biers, brewed to celebrate Oktoberfest. Consider the harvest ales and lagers that only autumn can bring. And don’t forget my favorite fall seasonals: fresh hop pales and IPAs.
Bellingham breweries produce a plethora of seasonal ales and lagers during fall. Step into any of our county’s 14 breweries, and you’ll find something on tap to warm you up on these crisp autumn days. Here are five fall brews to try this year around Bellingham and Whatcom County.
Illuminati Brewing — Crop Circle Fresh Hop IPA
Bellingham’s newest brewery, Illuminati just opened this fall. And for that reason alone, you should go check it out! Uniquely co-licensed as a brewery and winery (Masquerade Winery), Illuminati is quietly “co-fermenting” at its business park location on Hammer Drive. I’ll visit for a full update later this month. But for now, all you need to know is that they recently released Crop Circle Fresh Hop IPA, featuring Chinook and Cashmere hops from Chilliwack Hop Farms in BC. Sounds tasty to me.
Atwood Ales — Off the Bine Fresh Hop Pale Ale
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We are releasing our two Estate Fresh Hop beers tomorrow, Mo's Freshies Fresh Hop Saison with tettnang hops and Off The Bine Pale Ale with cascade & centennial hops plus this one is brewed using 100% @skagitvalleymalting. Come see us at the Bellingham Farmer's Market tomorrow, Saturday Oct 7th 10am-3pm, for a free tasting and bottle sales!! Get fresh while supplies last!! #conesofdunshire #estatehoppedbeers #growingwhatweneed #sofreshandsoclean #sofreshwillsmithwouldbejealous #bellinghamfarmersmarket #skagitvalleymalting
Ever since visiting Atwood Ales in September, the little farm brewery in Blaine has been on my mind. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I receive their informative newsletter, which announces a featured beer in each and every email. Their latest release is Off the Bine, a fresh hop pale ale made with 100% locally grown ingredients from within 50 miles of the brewery. Those ingredients include Skagit Valley malts, along with 100% estate-grown Cascade and Centennial hops. Look for this limited release in bottles at the Bellingham Farmers Market.
Wander Brewing — Eldo Fresh Hop IPA and…chestnuts???
Wander joins the fresh hop party with their own iteration, Eldo Fresh Hop IPA. Brewed with wet El Dorado hops from Toppenish, WA, this balanced brew is an annual tradition for the brewery. Wonder what will Wander will brew up next? We do, too! This teaser has us guessing what type of beer would lend itself to roasted chestnuts. Time will tell…
Kulshan Brewing — Festbier Oktoberfest-style Lager
Brewed in celebration of Oktoberfest, Festbier is Kulshan’s answer to the changing of the seasons. This one is part of their Brewers Select series, pioneered by brewer Sam Milne. Not to be out-hopped, Kulshan is also offering a Fresh Hop IPA this fall. Kulshan crammed over 700 pounds of Citra hops from Yakima into this batch, resulting in an IPA with “subtle hints of orchard fruit and bread”. Get some!
Boundary Bay Brewery — Harvest Rye
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Autumn is in the air today as we say goodbye to Summer. We'll miss the warm weather but welcome in the Fall seasonals we wait all year for. The Harvest Rye, Fresh Hop Pale & Oktoberfest are on tap now with more to come. Stay tuned! #ontapnow #freshhop #craftbeer #beerrelease #beer #SaveTheAles #bounderon #bellingham #harvest #season #autumn #cheers #paleale #amarillo #instabeer #pint #untappd #drink #local #washington #fall #autumn #leaves #fallequinox #goodbyesummer #hellorain #pnwrainforest #🍻
Long the harbinger of seasonal selections, Boundary Bay offers something for everyone in the fall. Perhaps the most unique and notable is Harvest Rye. Brewed with Skagit Valley malt, this copper-colored brew balances rye spice with Perle, Fuggle, and Cascade hops. You’ll also find Fresh Hop Pale and Oktoberfest on tap at Boundary this fall. Keep an eye out for their new 40 Mile Fresh Hop, hitting taps on October 11.
Of course, these are only five of the 14 breweries in town. Looking for a fun fall seasonal at your favorite Bellingham brewery? Seek and you shall find. Until next time, cheers!