Monday, October 29th, 2018
Walking Guide to 4 Bellingham Breweries from Baker to the Bay
Brandon Fralic

There are many routes to find your way “from Baker to Bellingham Bay”. One could participate in the annual spring Ski to Sea race, traversing 93 miles from Mt. Baker Ski Area to Marine Park. Or spend a summer’s day hiking near Mount Baker, followed by a sunset at Bellingham’s “secret playground”, Locust Beach. In winter, ski the day away before grabbing dinner and drinks by the bay. The outdoor recreation opportunities here are endless. If exploring breweries by foot is more your speed (or you’re simply looking for a fun in-town walking guide), I’ve got you covered with a new way to walk from Baker to the Bay. And it doesn’t involve driving to Mt. Baker at all!

This route starts at Kulshan Brewing, whose namesake, Koma Kulshan, is the native name for Mt. Baker. Sure, it’s a stretch — but this walking guide route will take you to 4 breweries and end at Bellingham Bay in less than 2 miles. What’s not to love?

walking guide to Bellingham breweries stops at Wander Brewing

A flight at Wander Brewing. Photo: Bellingham Tap Trail.

1. Start at Kulshan Brewing

First stop: Kulshan Brewing in Sunnyland. Pick up a Tap Trail map while you’re there; it will serve as your walking guide for future explorations. Don’t forget to collect a stamp at each stop!

Kulshan is a great place to begin your walking adventure because it is a brewery that embraces the outdoors. You’ll notice beers named after local mountain trails, like Heliotrope IPA. Kulshan has been cranking out quality brews in Bellingham since 2012, so their lineup is diverse and well-established. Be sure to try whatever small-batch brews they have on tap. During my most recent visit, the Brett Saison and Fresh Hop IPA were highlights.

2. Walk to Twin Sisters Brewing and Bellingham Beer Garden

walking guide to Bellingham breweries stops at Twin Sisters Brewing

Bellingham Beer Garden at Twin Sisters Brewing. Brandon Fralic photo.

The new kid on the block, Twin Sisters is only a 5-minute walk from Kulshan. My partner and I have walked between these two breweries on a couple occasions, greeted by friendly neighborhood cats along the way. Once you arrive, head for the brewery side if you’re seeking a pint. Or check out the full restaurant and bar at Bellingham Beer Garden to fuel up before your next stop. Either way, Twin Sisters delivers! Their growing tap list pairs perfectly with pub food favorites like tacos, sandwiches, and sliders.

3. Walk to Wander Brewing

Wander half a mile down to Wander Brewing — a 12-minute neighborhood stroll from Twin Sisters. It’s here that you’ll find some of Bellingham’s best barrel-aged, wild and spontaneously fermented ales. Head into the lofty Brew Hall for a sip from their extensive, ever-changing lineup. I tend to try anything seasonal or limited here — especially their sours and foeder-aged brews. To learn more about Wander’s story, check out: Crafting Beer and Community in Bellingham.

4. End at Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen

For your final destination, take a walk along Whatcom Creek to the edge of Bellingham Bay. At 1-mile, this is the longest section of the walking guide — and also the most scenic. Follow the creekside trail from Cornwall Avenue, through Maritime Heritage Park to Chuckanut Brewery. It’s about a 20-minute walk, but fear not: should you work up an appetite on the trail, Chuckanut’s locavore menu will keep you sated. As for the beer, Chuckanut’s ever-growing awards list speaks for itself. Chuckanut is the king of European-style lagers in Bellingham.

Bonus: Waypoint Park

Congrats, you’ve made it from Baker (err, Kulshan) to Bellingham Bay! If you’ve got a little walking left in you after Chuckanut, take a 5-minute stroll down the street to Bellingham’s new waterfront park. Opened during the summer of 2018, Waypoint Park offers an opportunity to stroll along the redeveloped waterfront and chill at the beach. It’s a great sunset stop before returning on the reverse route of the walking guide — or calling a rideshare to take you back to your car. 

Go Further

Of course, the walk doesn’t have to stop here. From Chuckanut Brewing or Waypoint Park, you can continue on foot to downtown Bellingham where a variety of breweries await. Structures Brewing, Aslan Brewing, Boundary Bay Brewery, and Gruff Brewing are all within walking distance. Happy trails and ales!

For more trails and ales in Whatcom County, check out the following links:

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. Brandon co-founded Beers at the Bottom in 2013 to highlight Pacific Northwest trails and ales. His first book, Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest, was released in 2018.