Monday, November 26th, 2018
Holiday Cheer: Beer Gifts and Events in Bellingham
Brandon Fralic

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.

Holiday brews by the fireplace. Rachel Wood photo.

Seasonal Beers

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 15 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.

Brewery Swag

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.

Need a gift for the lager-lover in your life? You can snag a free half-liter stein from Chuckanut Brewery when you spend $50 or more on merch.

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.

Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest Guidebook

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.  


Holiday events are a festive way to shop for friends and family. Check out the following events for a few ideas, and keep an eye on our Event Calendar for even more.

Aslan Depot

Holiday Record Bazaar, December 2

Aslan is kicking off the holidays with a Holiday Record Bazaar. Peruse new and used vinyl at this free event — beer in hand — taking place December 2 at Aslan Depot.

Arts & Ales: Holiday Market, December 15

Join friends at Aslan Depot: Barrels & Blending for a gathering of local vendors including jewelers, potters, artists, and other crafty holiday gift makers. Enjoy a beer and do your holiday shopping all in one place. The market will also feature a wreath making workshop, live music, and pizza from Övn Wood Fired Pizza.

Kulshan Brewing (K2)

Royal Tannenbaum Release Party, December 1

Kulshan Christmas Ale Release

Don’t miss Kulshan’s Royal Tannenbaum release party on Saturday, December 1st. The holiday beer will start flowing at 3PM in the Roosevelt Brewery (K2), they’ll have live music by Chad Peterson, and an ugly sweater contest kicks off at 6pm with lots of prizes. Dress accordingly!

Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest Presentation, December 7

Seeking a gift for the beer and hiking enthusiast in your life? Come to one of our book signing events in Bellingham! My partner and I will be signing books after a brief presentation at K2 on December 7. You can also catch us at Growlers Keep on December 19.

Bellingham Farmers Market

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.

Also, see our Beer page for more posts about Bellingham Craft Beer.

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About the Author:

Freelance writer Brandon Fralic has called Bellingham home since 2006. He writes about the outdoors, travel, and craft beer for a variety of regional publications. Brandon co-founded Beers at the Bottom in 2013 to highlight Pacific Northwest trails and ales. His first book, Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest, was released in 2018.