This weekend Bellingham will be celebrating it’s biggest event, Ski to Sea. I’ve done the kayak leg a handful of times and it is always a weekend that bring the competitive spirit as well and a sense of community out of this vibrant bayside town.
Ski to Sea is billed as America’s original adventure race. And who can argue with that? It was originally known as the Mount Baker Marathon between 1911 -1913. Competitors would race from downtown Bellingham to the top of Mount Baker…and than back to downtown Bellingham. So, you think you’re awesome for holding down the canoe leg this year, eh?
This weekend is going to be another hullabaloo, so let’s get ready in classic Tap Trail style and find you some beers to enjoy it with. Before heading out this weekend, make sure to grab your Tap Trail Passport, get some stamps and make your way around the Tap Trail in search of these beauts.
Most of this list is lagers and light beers. Keep in mind, Tap Trail breweries have a wide selection of styles, from stouts and big barrel-aged beers to sours saisons. It’s
It’s supposed to be in the mid 70s from Friday through Monday, so it’s a perfect time to seek out crushable pints.
Fairhaven Stones Throw Brewery
Raincountry Liquid Sunshine Lager
While there are lots of things going on at all Bellingham breweries, this is going to be a big weekend for Stones Throw. They are located in the heart of the Ski To Sea action. And lucky for everyone they are masters of the Block Party. They’re such masters that they have an ongoing Block Party arm of their brewery. Head to their huge beer garden on Saturday and then back again for an “extended beer garden” one on Sunday.
Usually the Flat Penny Pale is what I reach for, but this is a perfect weekend for their Liquid Sunshine Lager. It’s a 4.6% ABV low IBU has a dry finish and a bit of spicy herbal notes. As you’re dancing to the music in their beer garden, you’ll be glad you chose it!
FIFA (French India Farmhouse Ale)
This beaut was just re-released last week, before Aslan’s 3rd Anniversary bash. Head Brewer, Frank, continually nails and it won Gold at the North American Beer Awards for it in 2015. It is an imminently crushable pint when sitting on Aslan’s sunny patio. They note that it has a “light body + lemon & grapefruit notes + smooth slightly peppery, juicy beer with a dry finish.” We agree!
If you need something to nosh on and pair it with, I’m always a fan of their Hawaiian bowl with tofu or chicken. It’s GOOOOD.
Boundary Bay Brewery & Gruff Brewing
Neighborhood Watch Sour Pale
Bellingham is all about community and our craft beer community is a shining example of this. Boundary Bay Brewery and Gruff Brewing are a mere…what?…200ft from each other. Before celebrating Bellingham Beer Week 2017 they decided to celebrate their neighborliness by collaborating for this awesome beer.
Neighborhood Watch is a kettle soured with Bryan Kreuger‘s own “sourpuss” culture. It’s a hoppy tart and closest to a sour pale. Also, at only 3.7% it’s perfect for a sunny day in either Gruff’s amazing beer garden or at Boundary’s hopping musical happenings. Both breweries are centrally located to all the downtown Bellingham action.
Nut Burst Hoppy Lager
Chuckanut makes some of the best lagers in the world. Lagers are the fine delicate siblings to our ale heavy town and we are lucky to have Mari and Will Kemper in our town to share them with. Chuckanut Brewery collaborated with one of Seattle’s hottest breweries, CloudBurst Brewing, for this hoppy lager.
It’s a 6% lager made with some amazing hops from New Zealand and Australia for “a very drinkable down under hoppy lager with fragrant grapefruit and guava aromas and flavors. Perfect with sweet and spicy foods this beer is offered in very limited supplies throughout the Puget Sound region.”
A few months ago Kulshan Brewing company canned Bellingham’s first lager in at least a hundred years. It was kinda a big deal. These cans are at most Bellingham grocery stores, like Haggen, Community Food Co-op ad Whole Foods. Are you heading out on a hike on this holiday weekend, or have a post Ski to Sea BBQ to head to? This is what you want. It’s a damn fine example of what Bellingham breweries can offer.
Coming in at 5.0% ABV it’s a sunny day delight for anyone interested. If you’re at either one of the Kulshan breweries (James St. or Kentucky’s Street’s K2), grab a pint or a growler to go.
Wanderale Belgian Blonde
Bellingham has so many breweries we can get hyper local with our tastes. Wander Brewing is in perfect proximity for those in downtown Bellingham, Sunnyland and Lettered Streets neighborhoods. Wanderale was the beer that started it all off for me at Wander Brewing. This Belgian Blonde has an easy drinking 6% ABV was brewed with Belgian abbey yeast and results in a bit of spice and a bunch of aromatic goodness.
This weekend there will be a slew of food trucks rotating in and out of Wander’s lot. Be sure to check out Food Truck Calendar for details.
Structures Brewing offers up a number of hazy juicy beers for purveyors of the hop. Fuzz IPA is Structures constantly changing flagship beer. Fuzz is in its 4th iteration and offers up copious amounts of Simcoecryo powder and El Dorado hops. As always, there’s a healthy amount of oats to give it that thick beautiful head.
They don’t have cans of it anymore as they do short runs of cans and they go QUICK. Insider’s tip, they will be releasing a new can on Friday, so if you’re in town, make sure to stop in with your Passport and grab a few 4 packs to go after a pint. They’re also releasing a special cask on Friday. Lastly, Feast, an awesome food truck will be there on Friday and Saturday.
American Wheat Lager
You’re out and about in Bellingham, biking through our sunny town and you decide to hit up a few breweries. On your adventure, head to Menace Brewing on Meridian, Bellingham’s newest brewery and an awesome addition to the Cornwall and Columbia Neighborhoods. Menace Brewing has a sunny patio and a rolling door in their taproom for neighbors and visitors alike.
American Wheat Lager is one of my favorite Menace beers. It’s only 4.5% ABV and is brewed up with half wheat and pilsner malt. This should be sought out and drank in the sunshine with smiles!