Edited: Changed to reflect that the Table Beer and the Black Saison have Brett. Not the Citra.

James and Ryan held the soft opening of Structures Brewing last Friday, to a gathering of friends and passerby’s who were lucky enough to walk by. They wanted to make sure everything was in order before they opened up, so they would put their best foot forward for their Grand Opening. Their soft opening was another testament to what I’ve come to learn about both owners of Structures: Intentional and deliberate.

There are only two of them working in their small 10 barrel brewery and tap room. They have six taps. That’s it. Each and every one of the beers they had on tap for us was delectable. Saison, Black Saison, Table Beer, Citra Pale Ale, Double IPA.

All beers are offered as either 4oz, 10oz, 16oz or 32oz (bullet growlers.) As you can see, cost of 16oz pints only run from $3 to $6.

Their Double IPA blew my mind. It had so many layers and was hopped with Citra, Cascade and Galaxy. It was like taking a bite out of a tender subtle grapefruit, but without the heaviness of so many double IPAs – dangerously drinkable.

ryan and James

James (l) and Ryan (r) Photo Courtesy of Eric Jorgenson

Their Black Saison and Table Beer had the slightest hint of brettanomyces in it – just a bit of funk. A great introductory beer for those hesitant to wade into the waters of brett.

Ryan and James are lifestyle brewers. When I talked to them last spring, they said they are prepared to sell as few as 180 barrels in a year (360 kegs), or 30 kegs a month. They are not looking to produce an insane amount of beer. What they are prepared to do is produce an insane amount of insanely good beer.

Tap Trail writer and resident Beer Hunter, Aubrey and fellow beer expert, and Brew Deck creator, Katie Johnson educated me on the variety of saison styles and profiles. Aubrey told me that saisons, arguably, have the widest variety of profiles. Structures two saisons were beautifully crafted (structured?). Simultaneously adventurous, yet approachable.
People mingled and were brimming with accolades for the both of them that night. The brewers from other breweries in town talked about how delicious those beers were. For now, it’s standing room only. James says he may add some benches, but, no doubt, those benches will be built in time with a healthy dose of intention.

I’m excited for the Grand Opening on Wednesday @ 3pm, when the rest of Bellingham will get to try the deliberate and intentional passion James and Ryan have brought to their taps. They will be open Wed – Sat 3pm – 9pm, 1420 North State Street, across from Vital Climbing Gym.


Were you at the soft opening? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.