Each year, Bellingham Bay Rotary Club focuses on many philanthropic efforts. For the last 13 years, Brewers by the Bay, which began as a very small beer festival, has grown into one of Bellingham’s favorite summer events and become one of Rotary’s most lucrative fundraisers for the year.
Breweries from Washington, Oregon and even a few from California, gather at Depot Market Square to serve sample size pours to Bellingham beer drinkers. The event is always a fun way to spend time outside and enjoy beers from breweries you may not always have the opportunity to visit, as well as some local beer. This year, however, Brewers by the Bay is making a few changes from it’s typical routine.
In years past, Brewers by the Bay has taken place on a Sunday afternoon in late July or early August. This year, it will be held earlier in the summer to be more accessible to of-age university students, and take place on a Saturday night, directly following the summer Farmer’s Market.
On Saturday, June 8th from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Brewers by the Bay will host over 1,000 attendees drinking beer from a dozen or two breweries, as well as a select number of cideries. While the brewery bill is still being built, there are always local selections, like Boundary Bay and Melvin Brewing Bellingham in years past, and some from out of state like Mazama Brewing from Corvallis, OR.
The event always promises local food and music as well. Attendees can expect pizza from La Fiamma Woodfire Pizza, with the potential of other food vendors taking part in the festivities as the event comes together over the next few months. As for music, local band Gladstone will be playing, with more music being added to the bill as the event grows.
Rotary is most well known for their efforts to eradicate polio over the last number of decades, as well as many other philanthropic projects. This year, Rotary is focusing their efforts on one particular local cause: Docks for Kids.
“We are trying to raise money to put new docks in at Bloedel Donovan,” Josh Barrett, Rotary member and Brewers by the Bay committee member, said. “So that kids don’t have to jump off of the bridge into the water. This is a way to try and get some sort of a system in place there so the community can enjoy the water without feeling the need jump off the bridge.”
The Docks For Kids website explains that jumping off of the nearby bridge into the water is both prohibited and dangerous.
“The “H” dock at Bloedel Donovan Park once served as a fun swimming area during warm summer days. The docks were removed 15 years ago due to city budget cuts. Now kids and teens jump from the street bridge which is both prohibited and highly dangerous. There is no place in Whatcom County that you can take kids safely swimming with lifeguards that doesn’t charge a fee. We feel that safe swimming should be available to everyone,” their website reads. They have been working with the city to gain approval for the construction of new docks, which Docks for Kids will then fund, manage and assist with the construction of.
There is more information about Docks for Kids on their website, which you can browse or use to donate here.
Another great way to donate to the cause is buying a ticket to Brewers by the Bay, which will go on sale in early May on EventBrite, as well as personally through members of Rotary. Tickets include a handful (5-7) of drink tickets with more available for purchase at the event.
Brewers by the Bay will be Rotary’s and Docks for Kids’ primary fundraiser for the year. In years past, Grapes and Gourmet, a wine and food event, has been their other major fundraiser. This year, Rotary is ensuring that they are focusing their efforts into making Brewers by the Bay spectacular and fun for the entire community.
Keep your eyes out for tickets, both through the Facebook event and the weekly Tap Roundup. You don’t want to miss this year’s Brewer’s by the Bay!