A pint in the tap room at Gruff Brewing
On Friday August 12, Bellingham welcomed the newest calf to its BrewPod, Gruff Brewing, after an almost 3 year gestation and delivery process. Located at 104 E. Maple St., near the intersection of Cornwall Ave., Gruff will be conveniently located as you make your way around downtown and only a few hundred feet from Boundary Bay Brewery. As of right now they will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with times likely to be Noonish-11pm. Hours might vary a bit depending on availability of beer, and amount of business.
Their cozy taproom features the old wood floors that still bear the scars of the various industries that have occupied the space in past lives. The broad expanse of glass windows offer an amazing view of the Co-gen plant cranking out steam from its cooling tower. Once you look past that though, there is a very pleasant view of Bellingham Bay and Lummi Island rising in the distance. Not yet open, but soon to be available, is a nice outdoor patio. That area will be available as soon as some tables and seating are obtained.
Seating inside the taproom has about 10 stools at the bar, and a handful of tables near the windows. The tables and bartop are made from reused wood. The owners, Jameson, Eric, and Chris, also reused pieces of steel found onsite to craft the backsplash behind the taps, as well as the kick plate on the bar front.
Speaking of taps, there were 11 brews on during my visit, plus one tap that had already been drained. There is a nitro tap awaiting a stout that could be ready next week. There also a couple cider taps, and red and white wines. On tap during my visit Saturday were the follow brews (with ABV%):
Pale Ale (6.1)
East Coast IPA (6.9)
IPA 001 (7.4)
IPA 002 (7.4)
Pineapple Hefeweizen (4.7)
Creme Ale (4.8)
Sour Saison (6.5)
I tried the Creme Ale, Pineapple Hefeweizen, EC IPA, and IPA 002. All were solidly enjoyable, and the 2 IPAs were the standouts. Growler fills will be available in the future, prices to be determined. No food is made in-house, but you are welcome to bring in food, and they have a deal with The Horseshoe for food delivery. Food trucks are on the horizon as well.
Tap Trail welcomes Gruff to the Whatcom County beer scene, and wish them many years of tasty beers.