Bellingham beer lovers have been anticipating the opening of the new Stones Throw Brewing Co. in Fairhaven for months (or years, depending on when you first caught wind of the project). And now they’re open, bringing Bellingham’s brewery count up to 10. Oh, hoppy day!
Owners Jack Pflueger and Tony Luciano (who is also the brewer) have created an amazing atmosphere for enjoying a pint after a day of adventure, whether it occurred on the trail, on the water or even at the office. “The closest pint to adventure” is a great tagline for Stones Throw, since it’s located just up street from the Interurban Trail. Take a right and you can head to Boulevard Park and then on to downtown Bellingham, or take a left to cruise out to Arroyo Park and the Chuckanuts. Dog parks, boat launches, beaches and trailheads are all within a stone’s throw of the brewery—making it a must-visit for active Bellinghamsters and visitors alike.
The taproom is bright and spacious, featuring skylights, a bar made out of a bridge, lots of rustic wood and a railroad track footrest. Additional seating areas include the front beer garden, the back patio and beer garden, complete with a fire pit, and the upstairs deck. They’ve created plenty of cozy spots to spread out and relax with your friends, while you enjoy views of blooming lilacs, lush cedars or bright fermenting vessels.
The latter can be seen through the windows of the shipping container that houses them. Stones Throw has the distinction of being the only brewery around that utilized repurposed shipping containers in its construction. Three 20-footers and one 40-footer had to be set in place very carefully, and you can see how it happened in this video. The 7-barrel brew house, grain room, fermentation vessels and restrooms are in the containers, while the deck is on top of one.
I was lucky to taste Stones Throw beers once or twice (or a dozen times) during the building process, so I expected a solid lineup once they opened—and they did not disappoint! Tony and Jack have both been brewing beer for decades, so now it’s a matter of Tony dialing in each brew to the profiles he’s going for. On this visit, I tasted everything they had to offer:
Flat Penny Pale Ale: 4.8% ABV, 63 IBU. Possibly everyone’s favorite (at least in our group), the Flat Penny Pale is plenty hoppy and crisp.
Blanchard ESB: 5.2% ABV. Amber in color and balanced malt/bitter.
Neighborhood IPA: 6.3% ABV. This golden IPA will soon be the flagship brew—Nookie IPA (read on for the reason the name makes total sense). It’s close, but Tony’s not ready to bestow flagship status on it just yet. Stay tuned!
Two Dollah Porter: 5.5% ABV, 18 IBU. Named after the Two Dollar Trail in the Chuckanuts, this porter is mellow and smoky.
Hose Blend: 5.0% ABV. This is a new one! Hose Blend is the beer that is left in the hose that leads from the fermenting vessels to the bright tanks. Half of one batch goes into a keg, and then it’s filled up with the next one. Tonight it was half porter and half pale, and it was 100% delicious.
They had just run out of the Dry Hopped IPA—darnz! But it will be back, maybe as soon as next week. You’ll always find house-brewed ginger ale and a guest cider on tap, as well. Look for collaboration brews coming soon, including one with Eric Jorgensen from North Fork Brewery.
5 Distinctive Features of Stones Throw Brewing Co.:
Stones Throw has a number of additional distinctive features, in addition to the container construction. Here are the top 5:
- True story: it’s located on the site of a former brothel, run by Miss Annie, and you could once park your horse here before you headed up the hill into the rollicking, rowdy town of Fairhaven.
- It’s Fairhaven’s first modern-day brewery. I say “modern-day” because while I can’t find any mention of breweries back in Fairhaven’s saloon days, I suppose there could have been one hiding somewhere.
- It has a lovely fire pit to gather around after the sun goes down.
- The bar features refrigerated pint glass holders that keep your beer cool.
- They have their own currency. Buy tokens for $5.00 and pass them out to your friends, so they can trade them in for pints.
With great beers to drink, cool spots to hang out and the nicest people running the place, Stones Throw is guaranteed to be Fairhaven’s favorite brewery, and I expect it to be full of smiling Bellinghamsters, adventurers, beer aficionados and visitors from here on out.
Stones Throw Brewing Co.
1009 Larrabee Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225
Wednesday – Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
For more info about Breweries in Bellingham see our beer page or the full list of Teresa’s articles.