You might have seen some of Illuminati’s posts on Facebook and wondered when the long-awaited brewery will be opening. Here’s a quick update.
Illuminati Brewing (and Masquerade Wine) co-owner and Chief Fermentation Officer Bill Kimmerly told me all his paperwork is in, and that the opening date is ultimately in the hands of the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) and the WSLCB (Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board). It sounds like an opening by this summer is possible. “I’m being as aggressive as I feel I can be with these unknowns,” he says.
Once open, Illuminati will share a taproom and production space with Masquerade Wine at 3950 Hammer Drive, Suite 101, in Bellingham.
Kimmerly, who has decades of wine-making and beer-making experience, combined with a background in biochemistry, is currently brewing small batches of beer to optimize his recipes. “I’m working on about six to eight recipes, with another five that I feel are dialed in and just need to be scaled up,” he says.
Two beers he recently shared were Anonymous Ale (6% ABV, 35 IBUs), an English-style golden ale featuring Maris Otter malt and English hop varieties Challenger, Brambling Cross, and East Kent Goldings, and Freethinker’s Pale Ale (6% ABV, 35 IBUs), an American-style pale ale featuring Briess 2-row malt with Centennial, Perle, and Cascade hops. Both had solid malt profiles with bold hop additions. Kimmerly plans to can or bottle these two beers shortly after opening.
Another beer, Illuminati Grand Cru, will be packaged in 750-ml bottles, but it will be an aged beer, so we probably won’t see it for at least another year or so.
Kegged Illuminati beers will be self-distributed and distributed through Walton Beverage, which currently distributes Masquerade Wine.
Here’s to hoping the Gov pushes the paperwork through smoothly, allowing Illuminati to open sooner than later.