Rounding Up Bellingham's Craft Beer Scene with Almost 20 Must-Visit Breweries

So much beer, so little time. With nearly 20 craft breweries now operating in Bellingham and Whatcom County, it can be tricky to keep track of them all. And there are many variables to consider when choosing which brewery to visit. Which ones offer food? Can you bring the kids? Fido? Do they offer happy hour? Who’s new, and who has been around awhile? What is each brewery known for?

To address these burning questions, we’ve compiled this list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Below the FAQ, you’ll find a directory of breweries in Whatcom County, with quick facts for reference. Cheers!

  • How many breweries are in Bellingham and Whatcom County?

This question comes up a lot. The answer, of course, is a moving target — it seems we have a new brewery pop up every few months or so. At last count, there are at least 15 breweries in Bellingham city limits and 3 in other locations to total 18 breweries in Whatcom County.

  • How many breweries per capita are there in Bellingham and Whatcom County?

According to US Census Bureau population estimates for 2021, Bellingham has a population of approximately 92,289. With 15 breweries inside city limits, that gives us one brewery for every 6,153 people in Bellingham.

Whatcom County's population is approximately 228,831 (2021 Census estimate). With 18 breweries countywide, that’s one brewery for every 12,713 residents in Whatcom County.

  • Which Bellingham breweries allow kids?

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly breweries in Bellingham, with a few exceptions. K2 (Kentucky Street), Structures Brewing, Aslan Depot, and Gruff Brewing are 21+ establishments. 

  • Where are the breweries located? Can you walk between them?

Most of Bellingham’s breweries are located within a couple miles of each other in the downtown core. Some are very close together (Boundary Bay and Gruff are right across the street from each other). Others — like Kulshan, K2, Menace, Otherlands, and Stones Throw — are a bit far to walk from downtown, but easily accessible by bike, bus, or car.

The best way to plot your route between breweries is to pick up a Tap Trail map and passport. This handy guide — available at each brewery around town — features suggested routes between Bellingham’s breweries and taprooms. You can even earn prizes by collecting stamps at each Tap Trail location.

Aslan Brewing Co.

  • Established: 2014
  • What’s Unique: All beer brewed at Aslan Brewing Company is USDA Certified Organic. 
  • Food: Full menu.
  • Family Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating: Open and enclosed patio spaces.

Second location: Aslan Depot

  • Established: 2018
  • What’s Unique: Aslan's adults-only second location is a taproom, barrel-aging facility, and event space.  
  • Food: You can have food from Aslan brew pub delivered to your table.
  • 21+
  • Outdoor Seating: Uncovered patio. 

Atwood Ales 

  • Established: 2016
  • What's Unique: Belgian-inspired farmhouse ales utilizing local and seasonal ingredients from the family farm in Blaine.
  • Note: Atwood Ales does not operate a tasting room. Find Atwood beer in bottles and on tap around Whatcom County using their Beer Finder.

Boundary Bay Brewery

  • Established: 1995
  • What’s Unique: Bellingham’s oldest brewery, Boundary Bay is a long-established community gathering place offering a wide variety of brews.
  • Food: Full Menu.
  • Family Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating: Large beer garden and deck.

Beach Cat Brewing

  • Established: 2020
  • What’s Unique: The first brewery in Birch Bay with six taps featuring all Beach Cat originals. 
  • Food: You can bring your own food or order from The Beach next door.
  • Family Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating: Patio

El Sueñito Brewing

  • Established: 2023
  • What’s Unique: One of the newest additions to Bellingham's vibrant beer scene, El Sueñito Brewing brings way more than beer to Bellingham! They also have real, authentic tamales like those made at popular Frelard Tamales in Seattle. The brewery & taproom is located in the Sunnyland neighborhood.

FrinGe Brewing

  • Established: 2019
  • What's Unique: The city of Ferndale welcomed it’s first commercial brewery when FrinGe Brewing opened in the summer of 2019.
  • Food: Rotating food trucks.
  • Family Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating: Patio

Gruff Brewing

  • Established: 2016
  • What's Unique: With 16 taps, Gruff regularly releases experimental, small-batch beers.
  • Food: Delivery available from Horseshoe Cafe and rotating food trucks.
  • 21+ Only
  • Outdoor Seating: Large beer garden

Kulshan Brewing (multiple locations)

Sunnyland Neighborhood 

  • Established: 2012
  • What's Unique: A true neighborhood brewery, Kulshan offers an expansive lineup of Northwest style ales and lagers.
  • Food: Rotating food trucks.
  • Family Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating: Large patio/beer garden

Roosevelt Neighborhood

  • Established: 2015
  • What's Unique: One of the fastest-growing breweries in Bellingham, Kulshan opened their second location — a 30-barrel brewhouse known as K2 — in 2015.
  • Food: Food Truck
  • 21+ Only
  • Outdoor Seating: Patio

Trackside Beer Garden

  • Established: 2021  
  • What’s Unique: This seasonal beer garden is part of the new shipping container village located on the site of a former paper mill right in Downtown Bellingham’s waterfront redevelopment project.
  • Food: Rotating food trucks.
  • Family Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating: Large Beer Garden

Larrabee Lager Co. 

  • Established: 2023
  • What's Unique: Former head brewer at Kulshan Brewery, Sam Milne is drawing inspiration from his recent brewing experiences, while bringing in a whole new element focused on lagers and ales. 

Menace Brewing

  • Established: 2017
  • What's Unique: Menace is the Fountain District’s neighborhood brewery.
  • Food: Rotating food trucks.
  • Family Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating: Patio

North Fork Brewery 

  • Established: 1997
  • What’s Unique: What’s not unique about the North Fork? A “beer shrine”, wedding chapel, and pizzeria, this brewery is a mandatory stop for anyone driving the Mount Baker Highway.
  • Food: Full Menu.
  • Family Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating: Small patio/beer garden

Second location: The Barrel House 

  • Established: 2022
  • What’s Unique: North Fork's new spot will be used for fermenting in wood barrels, both spontaneously and with mixed-culture, as well as a bottling facility for specialty beers. 
  • Food: No food at this time. 
  • 21+

Otherlands Beer

  • Established: 2020
  • What's Unique: Offers "rustic lagers and farmhouse ales alongside European inspired street foods in a cozy guesthouse tavern."
  • Food: Cafe with indoor seating.
  • Outdoor Seating: Garage door opens to additional outdoor seating.

Stemma Brewing Company

  • Established: 2019
  • What's Unique: Stemma offers weekly events for the beer community.
  • Food: Food trucks
  • Family Friendly

Stones Throw Brewery

  • Established: 2016
  • What’s Unique: Stones Throw’s outdoor fire pit seating area is hands down the most attractive in Bellingham, and the brewery is made out of shipping containers.
  • Food: Snacks available; rotating food trucks.
  • Family Friendly
  • Happy Hour: Monday - Friday from 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Outdoor Seating: Three unique outdoor seating areas

Structures Brewing

  • Established: 2015
  • What’s Unique: Offering mixed fermentations, Structures focuses on fresh, small-batch brews including saisons, NE IPAs and barrel-aged varieties.
  • Food: Yes
  • 21+ Only
  • Outdoor Seating: Large patio

Twin Sisters Brewing 

  • Established: 2018
  • What’s Unique: Twin Sisters features a full-service restaurant and bar with an expansive beer garden.
  • Food: Full Menu.
  • Family Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating: Bellingham’s largest brewery beer garden.

Wander Brewing

  • Established: 2014
  • What's Unique: Wander serves traditional styles while experimenting with mixed fermentations through the Wander Barrel Project.
  • Food: Rotating food trucks.
  • Family Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating: Patio
        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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