Bellingham’s beer scene has grown leaps and bounds over these past four years. Each offering it’s own unique aesthetic, ambiance and surroundings. It’s been a blistering pace of brewery after brewery. Followed by our recent splurge on the missing link of cideries, that round out our city’s tap selection.
But our city’s most recent opening is a huge contribution to our city’s craft beer culture. And by “huge” we mean it in the most classic of terms. The combo beer garden, restaurant, bar and brewery offers something a bit different to our city. Bellingham Beer Garden and Twin Sisters Brewing live side-by-side right on the corner of Grant and Carolina St in Bellingham’s Sunnyland neighborhood. Over two years ago, Loren DeMuth, owner of land and buildings the two current businesses were built into (and owner of Bellingham’s sign company, CDI) told me that he was going to build a brewery and a beer garden. I thought, “That’s great’s great. Maybe we’ll get a brewery or a beer garden!” I really had no idea that we’d get both, nor a vision that would be as grand as this.
When you walk into the north entrance of Bellingham Beer Garden you enter via a tunnel that leads you to a 150 person restaurant and bar. Above that is a 200 person standing event space. The inside bar and restaurant are surrounded by beautifully welded metal detailing. There are numerous seating options, including the bar which is backed by 30 taps and four large screen TVs. The restaurant has the option of tables and benched cocktail tables up against the windows to the east.
Walking from the restaurant through the huge ceiling to floor garage doors you’re led to a sprawling beer garden. To the south is a grassy play area for kids, which is backed by a chalkboard that is longer than most houses. Beautifully crafted wood and metal picnic tables are placed throughout the beer garden. The beer garden also has two bocce courts, soon to be corn hole and a number of other beer garden games.
To the east of the Beer Garden sits Twin Sisters Brewing. Brewing operations are run by Tom Eastwood, formerly of Kulshan Brewing, just down the street on James St. Twin Sisters only has three beers on tap at this time, saison, IPA and summer ale. I tried all three, with my favorite being the saison. All three are available at the brewery and on tap, right across the breeze-way, at the Beer Garden. But more are on the way. Catfish Dionne, also a brewer, let us taste their upcoming Double IPA and it was wonderful. There’s a number of beers being brewed and in planning. And with 50 taps available at the Bellingham Beer Garden, you can bet they’ll be brewing up plenty.
Parking for both locations is found either on Carolina St in front of both businesses, or via Virginia St., which grants access to a large parking lot in the south. We’re told there’s plan for an events space to the south of the Beer Garden as well.
Both businesses are found at 500 Carolina St. Bellingham Beer Garden will be open everyday starting at 11am. Currently, hours at Twin Sisters Brewing start at 5pm, but I’m told those will be changing soon. You’ll be able to collect stamps from both on this fall’s new Tap Trail Passport, coming in September.
Photos of Bellingham Beer Garden and Twin Sisters