We couldn’t find a WABL booth in our travels during Seattle Beer Week, so we hit their website to see if they would have one set up anywhere nearby so we could claim our rewards for both 20 and 50 brewery stamps. Well, “nearby” is relative. We ended up driving up to their WaBeer Celebration at Boundary Bay Brewing in Bellingham.
Lucky for us, there was indeed a table set up where we could redeem our existing passport and get a new one.
Figuring it would be silly to drive an hour and a half JUST to do this, we sat down for beers. After drinking virtually nothing but American Adjunct Lagers for a week (the ONLY thing bad about vacationing in Mexico), I was ready to taste hops again. I opted for their Cedar Dust IPA, as it was being served through a randall stuffed with Ahtanum hop cones. Yup…that was hoppy alright. Awesomely, deliciously, nearly ridiculously hoppy. Smelled like a dream and was exactly what I was looking for.
The WABL folks had arranged for a brewery tour for those interested, and that ended up being about ten of us. Our guide was Eddie, one of BB’s Cellarmen, and he did a very nice job taking us through the labyrinth of organic growth that constitutes their brewing operation. It is one thing to simply buy more generic warehouse space and expand your brewery, but it is another animal altogether to have to grow into adjacent historic buildings. It was very cool to see how they have been able to expand so much given the space constraints foist upon them by virtue of their location. Somehow it made their end product that much more impressive to me.
After the tour, we opted to stay for lunch. Janette spied a group of older women eating earlier, and she noticed a conspicuous lack of beer at their table. This seemed like a positive sign that sticking around for the food might be a good idea. It was, and it is now clear to us why they have “and Bistro” in the establishment’s name. This place is clearly a destination in Bellingham, and it probably would still be one even without the brewery.
Great beer, great food, friendly staff, and a historic space combine to make Boundary Bay Brewery’s taproom and bistro an amazing place to enjoy a beer or two with a meal.
And now we are off on our quest to 50 stamps in our WABL passports. See you at the breweries, friends!