In August 2018, a new brewery, restaurant and beer garden opened its doors in Bellingham’s Sunnyland neighborhood. Twin Sisters Brewing Company has since come into its own, with dialed-in menus, an expanded taplist, reconfigured drinking/dining spaces and a fresh focus on events. I caught up with Twin Sisters staff during their 1-year anniversary festival to find out what’s new at this ever-evolving Bellingham brewpub.
More than just a Brewery
With 16 breweries in Bellingham and Whatcom County, new ventures have to offer more than good beer to stand out. Twin Sisters has found its niche in the Bellingham beer community by going above and beyond the typical taproom experience. The family-friendly campus (kids and dogs are welcome) is made up of two distinct buildings (the restaurant, and the brewery tasting room), as well as a “backyard” beer garden complete with picnic tables, outdoor games, and an epic fire pit.
The grounds are open and inviting, connecting Twin Sisters’ various areas via an attractive lawn. You can walk from one building to the other — pint in hand — and even order a beer from the tasting room’s walk-up window. It’s a fresh take on the brewpub and beer garden model, with a bigger-than-Bellingham feel you might find in Portland or Seattle (think McMenamins). Yet just like Bellingham itself, it’s neither too big nor too small: Twin Sisters feels just right.
Welcome to Twin Sisters
Twin Sisters makes a lasting impression on first-time visitors. Entering through the restaurant doors (follow the big, bright “Beer Garden” sign), you’re greeted by a friendly host before walking through a dimly-lit beer tunnel into the restaurant. The warehouse-turned-restaurant opens up dramatically, with lofty headspace and massive garage doors creating a roomy feel (while letting in plenty of natural light). Twin Sisters’ attention to detail is immediately apparent in the topo-etched menu boards and warm Northwest decor. Take a seat at the expansive bar, grab a table for your group, or head outside to access the beer garden and tasting room.
Twin Sisters’ full menu offers small plates, sliders, sandwiches, pub favorites like fish and chips, and kids options. Brunch is available on weekends. Additionally, Twin Sisters offers vegan and gluten-free options to accommodate a wide variety of dietary preferences. The Twin Sisters Burger is the hottest item on the food menu, with over 16,000 sold in Twin Sisters’ first year of operation! The full-service bar offers signature cocktails, local cider, and wine in addition to draft beer.
The Tasting Room
Head outside and across the lawn to the brewery tasting room for an adults-only (21 and over) experience. This intimate, loungey space gives off speakeasy vibes in the spirit of Aslan Depot. The tasting room provides a quieter place for beer enthusiasts to chill out and sample brews, away from the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. Peer into the brewhouse while sipping your favorite Twin Sisters beer and listening to jazzy tunes — a great way to unwind after the workday.
The Beer Garden
Outside, umbrella-shaded picnic tables provide beer garden seating while bocce ball, cornhole, and giant Jenga provide the entertainment. Twin Sisters is excited to offer a “four seasons beer garden” with their massive fire pit (adoringly named “Prometheus”) as the centerpiece. It remains the single best place to warm up fireside in Bellingham on a cool, drizzly day. During winter the beer garden is transformed into a cozy outdoor oasis with heated tents to keep the party going year-round.
Twin Sisters’ two-man brew crew cranks out an impressive lineup of house-made beers. 15 original brews were on tap during my most recent visit, from the ever-popular Stouting Thomas (served on nitro) to the signature Bellingham Green IPA. You’ll find more delicate beers here as well, with an expanded lager lineup including the Washington Beer Awards gold medal-winning Strawberry Zwickelbier. In addition to their own beers, Bellingham Beer Garden offers guest taps galore on their 30-tap system. You can also purchase Twin Sisters beer in cans at the brewery and local stores.
Events and Catering
One of the biggest changes at Twin Sisters recently is their new focus on events. They’ve thrown everything from a New Years Eve bash with live music to a 1st anniversary festival, with no sign of slowing down. Events & Banquets Manager Caleb Klein tells me that Twin Sisters is partnering with a variety of community organizations (such as Bellingham Girls Rock Camp) to support local causes and engage the community through events. Keep an eye on Twin Sisters’ Facebook and Instagram for event updates.
In addition to public events, Twin Sisters’ various spaces are available for private party event rentals. You can host your party in the mezzanine, tasting room, or the beer garden areas. Capacity varies by space, so check the website for details. The 1,500 square foot mezzanine, for example, can host up to 60 people seated or 120 people standing from a loft overlooking the restaurant dining room.
Twin Sisters offers banquet catering as well. Caleb says, “We are a full service venue. We will provide all the aspects that you want — the tables, chairs, linens, all that sort of stuff. We’ve got catering menus, we can do custom menus, we have appetizer platters, we’ve got bar options, drink tickets, hosting, etc.” So when you’re planning a party in Bellingham, consider Twin Sisters.