Building a Brewery: Stemma Brewing to open within a month

By |2019-05-24T18:36:26+00:00May 24th, 2019|

We’ve been following Stemma Brewing for just under a year as they make their dreams of a family-owned and operated local brewery come true. As they’ve passed milestones like finally finding a location, ending the long wait for their licensing to go through in the midst of a government shutdown & renovating a warehouse into a functioning brewery and dream space, Bellingham beer drinkers have been anxiously awaiting Stemma’s opening.

Owners/founders Jason and Kim Harper are working day in and day out to get Stemma to Bellingham as soon as humanly possible.

Well, Bellingham, the time has come. In less than a month, Stemma hopes to open it’s doors to the public. You’ve tried their collaborations with Boundary Bay and Brother Cascadia, maybe even saw them at April Brews Day last month, and soon you’ll be able to visit Stemma’s brick and mortar. Located at 2039 Moore Street, the building has transformed since we first checked in with them after their lease signing. What was once an empty warehouse previously home to a kickboxing gym, now holds a brewhouse where Jason and his father, Mark Harper, brewed their first batch just earlier this week.

On the other side of the wall from the brewery once held just a desktop computer and served as a playground for two kittens, Cascade and Calypso. Now there’s an entirely new walk in refrigeration system and what looks to be a taproom coming together. Soon enough there will be a big Stemma logo printed behind the bar, a part of making Kim and Jason’s vision come to life.

For now, the focus lies on getting the beer ready to be served once the Harpers are ready to open. On the day we checked in with Jason and Mark, they were making an amber ale. Stemma will be a balance of timeless, classic beers and some things that you’ve never seen before. For instance, the first five beers will be an amber, a milk stout, an IPA and a Blonde IPA. But Jason does his research and wants to try things never before seen in Bellingham like an Australian sparkling ale.

Something Jason and Kim have said since the beginning is that they want ice cream to be a part of Stemma in some way or another. They’ve talked about soft serve, hard ice cream by the scoop, and have finally made their decision on what sweet treats will be offered along with Stemma beer. You’ll be able to find a West Coast Pops freezer full of different unique flavors throughout the summer, specifically a vanilla bean cream flavor developed specifically paying homage to Jason’s award-winning home brew recipe and soon to be Stemma beer, the vanilla bean milk stout. 

Stemma has also established a relationship with a food truck that will be celebrating it’s opening concurrently; Mr. Franks, The Bus will be serving up classic Americana out of their mobile restaurant, a converted school bus.

As things seem to be coming together for the Harper’s, the question they get asked more and more is that of an opening date. Bellingham, keep your eyes open for signs of a soft opening in the coming weeks. Stemma’s official grand opening will be in June, and while there’s no set date yet, it’s just around the corner.

The Bellingham beer community will be growing by one this June, and we’re really excited to see (and drink) what’s to come.

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.