Open now in Bellingham, 122 West Brewing Co. is a new brewery and restaurant housed in the former Melvin Brewpub space on Meridian Street. 122 West Brewing is an all-new business — under local ownership and no longer affiliated with the building’s previous tenant. I sat down with owner Gary Pickering to find out what we can expect from 122 West Brewing.
A Bellingham businessman (Chief Monster at Bellingham web design company Clickmonster) and beer enthusiast, Pickering has wanted to open a brewery of his own for about seven years. Purchasing a turnkey brewhouse allowed him to retain staff from the former brewery, execute a speedy, yet tasteful remodel, and open his business in a matter of weeks (rather than the months or years it typically takes to open a new brewery). So if you haven’t heard of 122 West yet, that’s why. It splashed onto the Bellingham beer scene in record time.
You may be wondering what 122 West actually means. The name 122 West Brewing refers to the 122nd meridian west, the longitudinal line that crosses through Bellingham and several other West Coast cities. The name is also a nod to 122 West’s location on Meridian Street (literally on the meridian) in Bellingham.
A fresh coat of paint, rebrand, and remodel have given new life to the space. Large Edison bulbs hang over the bar; dark wood paneling and tables create a rustic northwest feel. Gary says that local art will soon adorn the walls. And since celebrating its grand opening on September 7, 2019, the brewpub has been busy cranking out house beers and food from the scratch kitchen.
122 West had 13 house beers on tap during my visit — an impressive amount for a young brewery. Gary says the Japanese Lager has been popular (it was sold out at the time), and you’ll find a good range of brews from light to dark. These include a Bohemian Pilsner, Honey Wheat, Cherry Gose, and Robust Brown to name just a few. Brewer Robert Sanner appears to be honing in on hop-forward beers, with 4 IPAs and a couple of “hoppy ales” on the tap list — ranging from the sessionable Hazy IPA (4.9% ABV) to the one-and-done 9.5% ABV Sultana Hazy IPA.
In addition to beer, 122 West Brewing offers ciders from Herb’s Cider, a selection of wines, and concoctions — simple cocktails utilizing Prosecco. Not in the mood for beer? Enjoy a Mimosa or Jamestini (Prosecco on ice, finished with a splash of rotating cider).
122 West Brewing is a full-service restaurant. Take a seat on the restaurant side for family dining (a kids menu is available) or dine in the bar area. The scratch kitchen makes all sauces in-house, and an ever-evolving menu offers pub standards like fish & chips and burgers alongside more adventurous fare. Try the pulled pork sandwich, made with bone-in, Skagit Valley pork shoulder and smoked shanks slow-braised in house Honey Wheat Ale. Keep an eye on 122 West’s website and social media for menu updates as they continue to experiment in the kitchen.
Also, be sure to stop by for Happy Hour, served Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Keep an eye on 122 West’s Facebook page and Instagram for upcoming events. So far, they’ve hosted a grand opening celebration and Pub Run with BBay Running. Football games are broadcast live on the taproom’s TVs and Gary says more events are coming. He hopes to partner with local nonprofits like Northwest Youth Services (Gary was a board member there for seven years) and Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition for future events.
- Address: 2416 Meridian Street, Bellingham
- Phone: (360) 306-3285
- Facebook: 122WestBrewing
- Instagram: 122westbrewing