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Many of us drive by Aslan on a Friday or Saturday night, and peer through our car windows into the brewery to get a gauge on how busy it is. The answer is always the same; it’s packed, and there’s a wait for a table, the case with every Bellingham brewpub on weekends.

Are a couple of hazy and juicy IPAs worth braving the crowd? The obvious answer is yes, and we probably will, regardless of how busy it is because the beer, the atmosphere and the staff speak for themselves and make it worth the wait.

Aslan is about to deliver once again and make it simpler and easier to just stop in for a beer. Just around the corner on North State Street, next door to Schweinhaus, is their latest work in progress: The Aslan Depot.

Over the last eleven months, Aslan has been transforming the Depot building into a 21+ taproom just a block down from the brewery, making it easy to drop by for a beer if you aren’t wanting a full meal. There is a certain level of convenience and simplicity in the inviting space they have been creating that will cater to beer drinkers all around Bellingham.

The Aslan Depot, hopefully opening by the end of this month, will feature some of the flagship favorites from Aslan like Batch 15 IPA, as well as barrel-aged and artisanal beers they are working on. There will also be 8-10 rotating guest taps from around the country. The purpose is to create a craft beer experience you can’t find anywhere else in town.

Our focus is to reach beyond the PNW and bring in beer from some of the most highly regarded craft breweries in the country. This doesn’t necessarily mean we will neglect PNW beers, but we’d like to make the Depot a place where patrons can expect to find a beer they cannot find elsewhere, whether that is on draft or in bottle,” Aslan’s Marketing Director Berit Dahl said.

The Depot will have a much different feel than the brewery, as far as the space is concerned. While the Forest Street space is clean, modern, organic and minimalist, the Depot is going for a throwback look, paying homage to the history of the Depot building, built in 1922.

“We wanted to do justice to the era that the building served its original purpose. As the station for the interurban electric streetcars and motor buses the Union Depot was a location focused on travel, naturally becoming a social hub for the city. With themes of travel, community, and 1920’s in mind, we pursued a vintage inspired cigar-lounge aesthetic,” Dahl said.

Hoping to create a feeling of nostalgia, the Depot decor will be a collection of colorful accents, leather, and Art Noveau, something much different than the original brewery space, catered specifically to the purpose of the new location.

“Patrons are transported back to a time and place where you may comfortably sit and chat under dim lighting,” Dahl said. “Whether with your own party or with a passerby, the Depot will be a place for any kind of conversation.”

As for food, there won’t be a kitchen at the Aslan Depot. Instead, light bar snacks will be offered, making this a true taproom. This may not be the case forever, but for now, if you want a delicious and locally sourced Aslan meal, you’ll find it around the corner at the Forest Street location.

Coming up on tap first at the Depot: Batch 15 IPA, Falcon Punch IPA, Satan’s Airport Imperial Milk Stout with Coffee. Check out Aslan’s Instagram page throughout the opening of the Depot to get a peek at some new beers hitting the Depot as well.

Bottles will also be available at the Aslan Depot, including a couple recently bottled saisons and some occasional guest bottles.

Aslan has always surprised Bellingham with innovative new beers and consistent spatial developments, and local beer drinkers are itching to try their newest beer experience at the Depot.

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Layne Carter

Tap Trail’s Assistant Editor, Layne Carter, grew up in Spokane, Washington but has spent the last five years in Bellingham studying journalism at WWU. When she’s not beertending around town, you can find her biking, drinking beer or biking to a number of local breweries for a beer.

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