The deal closed last week, and just like that Melvin Brewing Bellingham was put into new hands. Gary Pickering took over the brewery and restaurant at 2416 Meridian St., and within a month, the building will no longer be Melvin Brewing, but an entirely new brand with a new menu and new beers.

Gary Pickering, the new Owner of Melvin Brewing

According to Pickering, you will likely see the change happen sometime in August. Gary wanted to express that the new business “is 100% locally owned with no money going to the former parent company, Melvin Brewing.” This means Melvin no longer has an ownership interest. But the Melvin name will stay what it is until the license changes hands with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board sometime next month. The new brewery name is TBD.

Pickering, an avid beer drinker and local business owner, plans to keep the same staff, but make changes in the places he feels are most important, such as beer and food. Pickering wants to focus on having the community being the new brewery’s first priority. The first way he wants to show that the new brand is centered around the Bellingham community, is keeping the same staff from the old building. According to Pickering, part of this place’s appeal lies in the friendly faces behind the bar. Keeping Melvin Bellingham’s brewer means keeping a familiar face and a well-trained staff that can do the new beer justice. For Pickering, it was a no-brainer that the staff would roll over to the new brand. It was important for Pickering to see the staff stay, including Melvin’s most recent brewer, who won a silver medal at the North American beer awards. Robert Sanner, a member of the beer community for two or three years. He recently tapped a Japanese Style Lager. It’s crisp and refreshing, and will likely pair perfectly with the new menu, including more salad options, lighter fare, and of course, brunch.

The first big change comes in business hours; until the new brand is chosen, Melvin will remain Melvin, but begin opening at 3 pm instead of 11 am, like they have been for lunch service. Once the new brewery is up and rolling, the hours will readjust as well, and weekends will always include brunch. As for food, you can find the same Melvin beers and same menu at their brewpub.  Pickering wants to bring people good beer and a sense of camaraderie around town whether that be through showing football games or just enjoying a pint with friends.

If you live in the Fountain neighborhood, it will be easy to watch the gradual face-lift of this space that was once a drug store, then a toy store, and now a locally owned brewery. Keep your eyes open and your taste-buds thirsty because a new brewery makes it’s debut in about a month and you won’t want to miss it.