Monday, June 19th, 2017
Seasonal Beers in Bellingham: Summer 2017
Brandon Fralic

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: summer is (finally, officially) here. And it’s bringing barrels of brews along with it. Not just your typical lawn mowing beers, either. Bellingham is showing off a variety of styles this summer, from pale ales to browns, Citraweisse to Coffee Vanilla Stout. Read on to find out who’s offering what beers this summer season.

Melvin Brewing

The hottest brew news so far this summer has been the long-anticipated grand opening of Melvin Brewing. I popped in during opening weekend and while the place was slammed, the waitstaff handled it like true professionals. The beer was on point as well, though it’s not being brewed locally in Bellingham yet. We’ll have to wait a few months for that.

Watch for a full Melvin review from us in the coming weeks. For now, you can follow the shenanigans on Facebook, check out Tap Trail’s Opening Details, and get on out there to try it for yourself. I suggest the relatively light (compared to Melvin’s much bigger 2×4) Hubert MPA for these hot summer days.



Structures Brewing

Also in the news this season is Structures Brewing. They’ve recently expanded by leasing the space next to their taproom for storage and production. What does that mean for Bellingham? More Structures taps; more Structures beer.

And now for something a little different. Structures’ take on a summer beer is anything but the traditional summer session brew, and all the more welcome because of it. Introducing No Sleep: a coffee and vanilla stout made with locally roasted Primer Coffee. Structures is also releasing eight beers named after each episode in the first season of True Detective this summer. Get these limited release beers in cans — while you can.

North Fork Brewery

North Fork always surprises me. I tend to stop by after long hikes in the Mount Baker area, completely unaware of what’s on tap at the time. Sometimes the line extends out the door, down the ramp, and around the corner. Other times you can walk right in and sit down. You never know what you’re gonna get, but a few things remain consistent: the quality beer, food, and service.

This summer, North Fork has freshened up their beer garden for those in search of a sunny patio off Mount Baker Highway. They’ve also brewed up a hoppy NW Style Brown Ale in collaboration with Overflow Taps of Lynden. My personal favorite North Fork beer will always be the Nitro ESB, also known as Liquid Lingerie. Yes, it’s that smooth.

Chuckanut Brewery

Chuckanut recently cleaned house at the North American Beer Awards, taking home more gold medals than any other Washington brewery. It goes without saying that you should try all of them. Dunkel, Pilsner, and Kolsch brought home gold, while Helles and Vienna won silver, and Dopplebock earned bronze. As an added bonus, each of these styles are seasonally appropriate and go down easy in the sunshine.

Kulshan Brewing

As the top producing brewery in Bellingham last year, Kulshan’s K2 has been busy cranking out craft beer. Summer-ready styles in their regular lineup include Gose, Premium Lager (now in cans), and of course their classic IPAs. Additionally, this summer is a great time to try seasonals like Saison du Kulshan, Helles Lager, and Party in the Woods (PNW) Pale Ale.

Made in collaboration with Bellingham’s Transition Bikes, Party in the Woods is a balanced, crushable pale ale — now available in cans. I’m also looking forward to the release of Raspberry Lager, which we’ll hopefully see around the 4th of July this year.

Boundary Bay

Not only does Boundary Bay have one of the best beer gardens in town, it also offers up a killer variety of seasonal beers. This summer, try the kettle-soured Berliner Weise — known as Citraweisse due to heavy Citra dry-hopping. This easy drinker comes in light on the scales at just 3.7% ABV (low alcohol) and 4 IBU (low bitterness). Also in summer rotation at Boundary Bay are Lightner Lager, 3-B Session Ale, and Galaxy Single Hop Pale.

One more thing. Like to hike? Boundary Bay is hosting a Trails and Ales event with the Washington Trails Association on June 22, 2017. Come on down!

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. In 2013, Brandon co-founded Beers at the Bottom to highlight trails and ales in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.