10 of Tap Trail’s Coziest Taprooms

By |2019-02-20T20:47:04+00:00February 20th, 2019|

While the snow-pacalypse is close to over, or at least turned into slush-pacalypse, that doesn’t mean Bellingham is warming up anytime soon. While school is finally back in session and your favorite local businesses open regular hours again, it seems like a great time to escape the cold and duck into your favorite brewery or taproom for a pint. This weather makes everyone want to bundle up and find the coziest place in town. We’re doing the work for you and featuring some of the coziest places to enjoy a beer and get your stamps at the same time.

1. Archer Ale House

photo from Trip Advisor

Archer Ale House is one of Fairhaven’s oldest places to grab a beer. Located downstairs at 1212 10th Street, Archer feels perfectly hidden, making it that much cozier. There’s a full bar, a warm atmosphere, a friendly staff and an awesome menu of your favorite pub fare and comfort foods. Archer just has a way of adding to the Fairhaven Old Town vibe, and you’ll feel it right when you walk in.

Don’t Miss: Trivia on Sundays, local shellfish 

2. The North Fork Brewery

If you frequent Mount Baker or any of the trails on Highway 542, you’ve probably driven by this Deming gem. The sign reads “North Fork Brewery, Pizzeria, Beer Shrine, Wedding Chapel.” All of these things are true, and we might mention that their entire restaurant and taproom feel like you’re walking into someone’s home. That someone is obsessed with beer collectibles through the ages, but they’re onto something. It’s warmly lit with hardwood floors and a cabin-like feel. The pizza and beer rival some of Bellingham’s best, but in that non-competitive “we just want you to drink good beer” kind of way.

Our pick: the always-refreshing Nitro ESB

3. Aslan Depot

Aslan is a force to be reckoned with in the Pacific Northwest. A year ago, almost exactly, they expanded from their Forest St. location onto State St. where they opened a boutique taproom. They have couches that look as if they travelled from your eccentric great aunt’s house, the lighting is low, and the art is Nouveau. If you’re looking for a place in the heart of downtown to enjoy a beer (they have everything from their own barrel projects to guest taps that aren’t often seen in other taprooms around Bellingham), and maybe listen to some jazz on a Friday, the Depot is a creative project that Aslan clearly put a lot of heart into.

Don’t Miss: Industry Discount nights on Mondays, live music on Fridays

4. Stone’s Throw Brewery

Photo by Bellingham Herald

Fairhaven has a lot of really awesome places to find a drink, but when it comes to beer, Stone’s Throw reigns to be the beer mecca. Their taproom is small and intimate, often abuzz with neighbors and friends enjoying bluegrass or folk music. Even the outside area is cozy. While it’s cold now, the fire pits and heat lamps will keep you toasty. Have a couple of beers and walk home a couple of blocks with that beer blanket, too.

Our pick: Stone’s Throw Porter

5. The Local Public House

Walking into The Local is like walking into a bar you’ve been a regular at for years. Their menu has undergone some extreme changes in the last number of months, and you can smell each carefully crafted food item wafting from their kitchen to the dining room. They feature a number of beers from their beer-focused counterpart, Menace Brewing, as well as a carefully curated tap list of beers of all styles from all around the Pacific Northwest. It’s the perfect place for a date, a beer by yourself just to escape the cold and get out on a snow day, or even taking your parents when they visit you by surprise.

Our pick: They’re known for their reuben sandwich, but all of their weekly specials take a large part of the spot light as well

6. Mckay’s Tap House & Pizza

Mckay’s has been a Sehome neighborhood staple for years. If you went to college in Bellingham, Mckay’s was your place for dinner and a beer under $10. If you’ve lived in Bellingham for years, you may remember it as Pizza Pipeline. Now, they’re taplist has evolved into a craft beer must-try, often hosting brewer’s nights or tap takeovers for breweries like Rogue and Deschutes, giving Bellingham beer drinkers an opportunity to try specialty one-off’s and more than just their year-round available beers.

Our pick: Chicken. Bacon. Ranch.

Don’t miss: Trivia on Wednesdays! It’s infamous for it’s difficulty

7. Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen

Chuckanut is known for being masters in lagering and German beer styles in general. Beyond that, their menu is filled with homestyle food that one just naturally seems to crave on a cold winter day. Whether you’re there for a liter pour of their nationally recognized pilsner, or escaping a bitingly cold afternoon to enjoy their killer happy hour menu, you’re in the right place to cozy up.

Our pick: Chuckanut’s killer Schwarzbier

8. Uisce Irish Pub

bellingham.org

For those of us with eccentrically Irish fathers, Uisce is not only a place you can send a photo to your dad from, but a reliable place for a good beer or cocktail, a belly laugh, and a good game of darts. It’s the go-to place in Bellingham for St. Patrick’s Day, and general nightlife in the city of subdued excitement. There’s an actual hearth, couches set up around it, and an endless list of options for a night cap.

Our pick: If you’re stepping through a portal from downtown Bellingham to downtown Dublin, you may as well drink a Guiness, right?

9. Elizabeth Station

A Columbia neighborhood staple and gathering place, Elizabeth Station offers over 1,000 beers between their packaged and draft selection. You’re more likely to run into someone you know here than anywhere else in town; when you step into the Station, the world gets a little smaller while the world of beer gets much, much larger. They recently made some changes to their menu, moving away from the Chicken Bacon & Ranch Beer Box, and towards roasted veggies, pork and jackfruit bao bun tacos, and a Rainbow Grain Bowl. Despite ridding of the comfort food that once made this taproom so cozy, they maintain their reputation with their new menu and the good people you find inside.

Our pick: One of their many stellar barrel-aged selections from their dedicated dark beer tap handles

10. Goods Local Brews

Over the summer, Goods was the go-to meeting place, whether you wanted to sit inside, outside, or just camp out there and move around throughout the day. Being a newer local business, they’ve repeatedly been asked what will happen in the winter months. Simple: they just shut the garage doors and become a cozy destination for a local pint and a game of foosball. Their resident taco truck is still running outside, A Que Tacos, soon to be joined by a Chinese dumpling truck. We’re lucky to have this neighborhood staple, no matter the time of year or the weather. Cheers!

Our pick: What has seemingly become their house IPA, Kulshan’s Heliotrope.

About the Author:

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.