Visiting Overflow Taps was on my to-do list for months. Launched in Lynden in 2016, the socially responsible taphouse donates $0.25 of every pint to charity. But with so many excellent breweries in Bellingham, I’ve never made the drive north to check out their Lynden location. So when Overflow Taps opened a second location in Bellingham’s Barkley Village last year, I had to check it out.
The vibe at 4 p.m. on a Friday is relaxed, and taproom manager Peter Jernberg greets me with several solid beer recommendations. I sample Atwood Ales Autumn Rabbit and a Mosaic Pale Ale by Stoup, then settle in with a pint. The taplist is impressive, featuring 10 rotating beers and four ciders at the time of my visit. I’m told that co-founder Adam Stacey is primarily responsible for selecting the beers. He’s done a great job of representing the Northwest, with local Whatcom County brews, a few Seattle selections, and even some Oregon options on the board.
I sit down with Overflow Taps co-founder Jesse Nelson and his wife Kristen to learn more about their new Barkley taphouse. Jesse says that they weren’t actively looking to open a second location. But when the Barkley space became available, they knew they’d found a second home for their taphouse. He explains that because Barkley Village is primarily a business center, many customers come in for a beer after work. Overflow Taps is filling a niche — and the pint glasses of the after-work crowd — as the only taphouse in the village.
The room begins to fill up as I sip my beer. Looking around, I notice the high ceilings, cozy fireplace, and large windows letting in lots of natural light. The space feels clean and modern, with colorful landscape photographs decorating the wall by Lynden-based wedding photographers Stefan and Audrey. A sign above the bar announces the current amount that Overflow Taps has donated to charity. In just two years, that number stands at over $20,000.
A Social Good Taphouse
Jesse explains that his team wanted Overflow Taps to be more than a home for craft beer. They hoped to make an impact by supporting a greater cause. Inspired by the work being done by charity: water, Jesse and his team decided to donate $0.25 of every pint sold at Overflow Taps to the organization. The money raised is used to provide clean drinking water to people around the world — a cause absolutely worth raising a glass to.
In addition to these donations, Overflow Taps has started a program called Charity Pints to raise even more money for charity:water. Breweries enrolled in the Charity Pints program donate $0.05 of each pint sold at Overflow Taps to charity: water. With $0.25 already being donated, that’s $0.30 a pint going to those in need of clean drinking water! So far, several Whatcom County breweries have enrolled in Charity Pints, including Aslan Brewing, Atwood Ales, North Fork Brewery, and Wander Brewing. All the more reason to drink local at Overflow Taps.
From tap takeovers to live music and charity events, Overflow Taps keeps it fresh with plenty of happenings. Keep an eye on their Instagram account for updates. This year, they are excited to host a block party during Bellingham Beer Week. The 3rd annual April Brews Day: Pre-Party will be held at Overflow Taps Barkley in support of the Max Higbee Center. And in true-to-form fashion, the crowds will overflow into the streets at this free block party. Count me in.
Overflow Taps Podcast
What else is the Overflow Taps team up to, you ask? They also host a podcast! Tune in to the Overflow Taps Craft Beer Experience to hear Jesse and Adam discuss their latest beer tasting.
While Overflow Taps does not offer food, you’re welcome to bring in your own. Or order from their handy “Menu Book”, featuring menus from local restaurants that provide delivery or take-out.
Overflow Taps Barkley Village
2930 Newmarket St, Suite 117
Bellingham, WA 98226
- SUN-WED // 11:00 – 10:00
- THU – SAT // 11:00 – 12:00