BelleWood Farms near Lynden is a hopping spot year round, with activities centered around the farm calendar—apples, pears, cider and pumpkins in the fall, apple blossoms in the spring and weddings galore in the summer. Luckily, the offerings from BelleWood’s on-site distillery are always in season, so we who enjoy high quality gin, vodka, liqueurs and cocktails can partake no matter what the calendar says.
New for this summer and into fall, owners John and Dorie Belisle are welcoming visitors to their farm every Friday evening with a fish fry, paired with farm tunes and Old Fashioneds. (You have to appreciate their amazingly awesome application of alliteration!) The event is a great way to kick off the weekend, especially when the weather is clear, the temperatures are warm, and Mount Baker is visible to the east. When we visited, none of those factors were in play, but we had a great time in spite of the cloudy skies and cool temps.
Our first order of business was to get a couple of drinks in front of us while we decided on food. I admit I passed on the Old Fashioned—it’s just not my favorite, particularly when Moscow Mules (BelleWood vodka, ginger beer, lime twist) are on the menu. I ordered one, and my companion chose the Ten Mile, mixed with BelleWood gin, apple cider and a twist of lime.
Other cocktails on the menu were the Razzmatazz, made with raspberry vodka and raspberry lemonade, and the famous BelleWood Frosts, which are adult slushies made with vodka or gin. They also have a rotating local beer on tap, alongside Honey Moon’s Cider Head hard cider, which just happens to be made with BelleWood apples.
We also ordered the fish fry, of course. Diners have a choice between cod and chips, shrimp and chips or a combo of each. All are served with coleslaw and of course, tartar and cocktail sauce. To offset the fried food, I also ordered a very healthy green salad topped with BelleWood apples, goat cheese and candied walnuts. Everything was delicious.
This week’s featured band was Lost at Last, who played authentic country tunes while we enjoyed our cocktails.
Inside, where it was warm, we were surrounded by a good-sized crowd. I had a feeling the weather kept more fish fry and farm tune aficionados at home this time around. John mentioned that nice evenings see hundreds of people filling the tables and chairs.
The little ones didn’t mind the chill and were having a blast outside. Parents love hanging out while the kids play close by. BelleWood is very family-friendly and the grounds, bistro and market were filled with several generations of music lovers on Friday night.
Make plans to make it out to BelleWood, and you’ll start your weekend with a belly full of good food and drink, and a song in your heart. See the full Fish Fry, Farm Tunes & Old Fashioneds lineup here, and remember, the fun happens every single Friday, from now until October 2!
Our trip to the farm was not complete until we said hello to John, who invited us in to see their new private event space that peeks into the distillery. Of course, we moseyed over to the tasting room as well! I visited Bellewood Distilling when it first opened, and its product line was more limited. Now, they’re crafting three vodkas (original, Honeycrisp and Raspberry), along with gin, Eau de Vie apple brandy, Reserve brandy and a Pumpkin Spice liqueur. Both John and Dorie were behind the tasting bar, pouring samples of their award-winning products, which, in my humble opinion, are better than ever.
But you don’t have to take my word for it—stop by the farm for your own behind-the-scenes tour and tasting! They’re offered every Saturday and Sunday at 12:00 and 2:00. Cost is $10 (which includes tastes of the final product) and reservations are required. Make a reservation here, or just call 360-318-7720.
6140 Guide Meridian Dr., Bellingham, WA 98264
Distillery: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Country Café & Store: 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Open later for events like Friday Fish Fry, Farm Tunes & Old Fashioneds
For more fun ideas see Teresa’s full list of beer, wine and spirits articles or our things to do pages.