Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
Active Beers: 64
Beer Ratings: 638
Beer Avg: 3.67
Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
4.4/5 rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Working our way up the coast to the forbidden zone, when Phil unexpectedly (to me, anyway) detours off the interstate for the scenic route, and then promptly stops at a random antique store (used loosely) on the side of the road. Wish I could get that harpoon back to NY with me. No, it’s a bad idea. Used a lifeline and called Carl Ronson for placement and disposition, and then came rolling into Bellingham. Spotted ‘Boundary Bay’, and thought, “Wasn’t that the name of Khan’s ship in the Star Trek episode?” Oh, wait, okay. Hey, there’s a beer festival happening across the street, stars, they be alignin’…
Early 20th century cinder blocky building standalone; with a center roll up garage door for when weather permits, and doors & panel windows on both ends. A small reception room off the far entrance with shwag sales & 22’s a cooler of 22’s gives way to the big room; just shy of 2 dozen tables across the room for the sittin’, some pushed together for parties larger, and a straight plank topped bar, slat base, & piping foot rail, with seating for 6 on green stools to the rear.
Slat wood barback units of shelving, glassware & growlers, split by a doorway to somewhere. To the center of the larger one side (the off center?), 10 taps on a stainless steel panel with vertical black slat pieces above, beer names printed there in colored markers, and a pair of handpumps off to the left. More glassware shelved below, and wines, too. Red, blue, & silver streamers lining the top side with strung baby frosty mug lights from end to end. Flats in both corners atop, and pieces in between (a ‘cask conditioned ales’ sign, a croquet set, mugs, other glassware, a pink flamingo, ceramic growlers, toy trains, a football helmet, house bombers, a mini leg lamp from ‘A Christmas Story’, oh, and a 3rd place award for a 2006 barleywine festival at Coles, a long way from home. It’s even got a little buffalo on top, cool).
Worn fat wood plank floorings, and beige walls & a high ceiling with a darker trim. Drop martini glass lamps over the bar and in rows about the rest of the room, with strung lighting from lamp to lamp. Nice vertical ‘Beers of Washington’ framed print to one side, and a corner not as small as it looks brew room to the left of the bar, with large brew room view windows; events and happy hour board above, and World Beer Cup awards displayed alongside. Piano against the inside wall with ‘Kayak ski to sea’ awards on top, black & white pics of things ski, brew, & boat (what else is there?) mounted, and a long loooong row of North American beer awards displayed. A giant sail affixed to the ceiling above the bar, and other sails mounted about the walls & ceiling lined with strung lighting. A great little boat mounted, a kayak, a beer & food 3D piece, international flaggings, & large boat art on the far wall. Old handpump set up, more croquet, & a barrel, with the kayak over the side room entrance vestibule.
And there’s a rear room long and narrowish with more seating; 2 and a ½ dozen tables pushed together in the places you need that to happen. Local prints for sale back there, and access to an outside side deck, a dozen + pic-a-nic tables there, and I think there’s an outside space I missed? It’s comfortably cool out today, I would like this weather for always, please.
So, beer; 6 house regulars (Bellingham Blonde, crisp, nice hop bite; Best Bitter, nice bitterness, a solid ESB; Amber, hoppier than maltier, good body; Inside Passage Ale, very nicely hoppy IPA; Scotch, good sweety, malty, and non-bandaidy, like too many others are; Dry Irish Stout, in lieu of the Impy Oatmeal Stout, chocolatey nose, bit of licorice, a little thin but most quaffable), 4 seasonals (Imperial IPA, a bit on the sweet side, as they generally are; Maibock, some sweet alcohol, a very nice example to style; Pilsner, nice bite, dry, crisp, good clean Pils; Highland Reserve Scotch Ale, biiiig alcohol & peaty), and both handpumps live (currently pouring the IPA & ESB). I’d say that Best Bitter, Amber, Inside Passage Ale, & Pilsner were my faves, but there were no clunkers here. None.
And food. I wanted a salad and chowder combo but Phil ordered 4 pretzels for the 2 of us (What’s your malfunction, carny?) I don’t give a shit though ‘cause I’m not leaving without having me the salmon chowder, and this one was excellent; potato, celery, carrots, onions, & big chunky salmon action.
Food fixed my head, and the beer was solid. It’s a good, comfortable house. Janet showed up with tix for the beer festival (well, that’s a day changer), and Ed dropped over, too (hey man, good to see you again). Really just super nice folks, but you already knew that, didn’t you? Well, off to the ‘Brewers by the Bay’ festival, I’m in no rush to see Vancouver anyway.
11-06-2012 02:48:33 | More by slander
More User Reviews:
British Columbia (Canada)
3.58/5 rDev -12.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 2.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
First the good: love the room, the beer garden, the whole ambiance. It's great! The service was just as great. It was busy and our server was doing a fantastic job of being personable and making sure everyone was happy. Amazing! The menu has a good selection that is sure to please a wide variety of people. Speaking of which, it's a good mix of patrons from sporty-bikesters to hipsters to everyday working people. I wish patrons were allowed to choose the 6 beers in the sampler but it covers nearly all their regular offerings ... and when I asked about the two keg beers the great server happily brought me mini tasters in addition to the 6 on my tray.
Now for the bad: I really didn't like any of their beers. They were totally disjointed, tasting like they were just thrown together without any sense of balance. The listed alcohol levels were reasonable but the lack of a balanced accentuated the alcohol which made the beers taste even worse. I didn't finish any of the eight I tried. I thought I had hit the beers on an off day but a local beside me was raving about their big and bold taste.
So I'm torn about recommending BBB to friends. How about: it's a fantastic beer destination but just don't drink the beers.
Maybe it's just me so I'll give the beers another chance another time ...
06-29-2014 16:06:21 | More by EspressoGuy
3.99/5 rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75 | $$
This local Bellingham pub epitomizes the Bellingham culture. Down to Earth, natural, somewhat artsy, and laid back. They serve a solid IPA. For me, it is especially tasty on cask. This is one of our favorite place to go in the summer for afternoon beers, plus it is very much, kid friendly.
04-08-2014 00:32:49 | More by mabermud
4.6/5 rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
They have a great brewpub. The beer isn't the best I've had, but I've been spoiled over the years. Overall, its great quality, the Cascadian Dark is one of my favorites. The food is the best I've had at a brewpub, try the yam enchiladas, I thought it sounded crazy at first, but they are amazing. The staff is incredibly helpful and fun to be around, especially after a few pints. Very much recommended if you find yourself in Bellingham.
03-31-2014 18:47:56 | More by heyealex
4.05/5 rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75 | $$
Great Beer! Fish Tacos are a great choice to pair with their excellent IPA. The Barleywineish is a great choice. Also they were pouring a single-hop Amarillo that was out of this world. I have been enjoying this brewery for years and will continue to frequent Bb when I make it to a Bellingham. Great location.
02-02-2014 17:18:57 | More by jellikit
4.5/5 rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Loved it here. My first time was today. Service was great, although there wasn't as many beers to choose from than I thought. The tap house section of the brewery looked neat too with the option for the love music. I enjoyed the platter I had and I'm not much of an IPA guy but none of them weren't too bad. I was happy to see the hockey game on at the bar. I live up north, I want to watch hockey not football. Ill definitely be coming back after my deployment. I'm moving to fairhaven so ill be enjoying this place for years to come.
01-02-2014 03:14:09 | More by Gaffattack
Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro in Bellingham, WA
92 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.