The holidays are here, and gift-giving time has arrived. Are there any beer lovers on your list? If so, Bellingham breweries offer everything from bottles and cans to swag and seasonal events. Savor the season with these beer gifts and event ideas in Whatcom County.
Once upon a time, when there were just a handful of breweries in Bellingham, it was a far simpler task to round up our favorite seasonal beers. No longer. Today, Whatcom County’s 16 craft breweries are making so much beer that we can barely keep up with it all! Check out Tap Trail’s weekly Tap Roundup and follow your favorite Bellingham breweries on social media for the latest releases around town.
Of course, there are a few tried and true brews that show up around the holiday season every year. Boundary Bay’s Cabin Fever is a perennial local favorite. This year, the cans feature artwork from Bellingham artist Evan Whitehead. Support local art and beer by buying these beauties!
Another holiday classic is Kulshan’s Royal Tannenbaum Christmas Beer, released December 1 (see event details below). This Christmas Ale contains Douglas Fir, Colorado Spruce, and Norway Spruce tips — a true taste of the northwest.
In addition to beer, Bellingham breweries sell all sorts of swag to keep you properly outfitted. Here are a few highlights.
Kulshan is killing it in the swag department lately. Since their recent rebrand, the entire line of shirts, hats and more has been overhauled for a hip, trendy feel. Case in point: this excellent enamel cat pin, purrfect for the Kitten Mittens lover in your life.
Bellingham’s newest brewery, Twin Sisters, is also offering up some fine threads this holiday season. Check their selection next time you stop by Bellingham Beer Garden, then cozy up next to the hot new outdoor fireplace with a pint of nitro stout.
Other Local Beer Gifts
I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to suggest my own beer-centric guidebook, Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest, as a gift idea. Written here in Bellingham by my partner and me, it features hiking trails paired with breweries around the region. While there are lots of places to find it, I hear that Village Books in Fairhaven will be receiving a shipment during the last week of November — just in time to stuff those stockings! See below for event info.
Need to know where else to buy gifts in Bellingham (besides breweries)? Sustainable Connections’ new gift guide is a great resource. They offer a few ideas for the beer-lover, including a growler or two from Growlers Keep. You can shop the site for local gift ideas under $25, under $50, and so forth.
December 7, 2019 – Downtown Holiday Festival
Formerly known as the Tree Lighting Ceremony, this expanded and reimagined gathering will feature a variety of attractions, including a new, sustainable, 28-ft holiday tree gifted by the City of Bellingham! Other festivities include the lighting of the tree, an artisan market, photo opportunities with Santa, hot cocoa, cider & cookies provided by Woods Coffee, a 21+ bevy garden featuring Boundary Bay Brewery and Chuckanut Bay Distillery, food trucks, holiday sounds with Boombox Kid, take-and-make craft tables with Gabriels Art Kids, dance performances by students at Harper&I Dance Center, caroling with The Mount Baker Toppers and more!
December 14, 2019 – Wander Brewing Bottle Sale & Holiday Pop-Up Market
Join us at Wander for our Annual Bottle Sale and Holiday Pop-Up Market! Our annual bottle sale starts at noon, and local artists and crafters will join us from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. in the back brewery production area for a holiday pop-up market.
December 21, 2019 – Arts & Ales: Annual Holiday Market at Aslan Depot
Join us at the Aslan Depot for our second annual Arts & Ales holiday market! A gathering of local vendors including jewelers, potters, artists, and other skilled artisans! Enjoy a beer and do your holiday shopping all in one place. The market will also feature live music and food vendors.
The Saturday Farmers Market is always a sure stop for holiday shoppers. Pop into the winter market in Depot Market Square, held every Saturday from 10am – 3pm through December. Here you’ll find a booth manned by Atwood Ales, whose beautiful 750ml bottles of saison and farmhouse ales are just right for the holiday dinner table or under the Christmas tree.