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Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro

Not Rated.
Boundary Bay Brewery & BistroBoundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

49 Ratings
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.51%
Active Beers: 68
Beer Ratings: 702
Beer Avg: 3.68
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

1107 Railroad Ave.
Bellingham, Washington, 98227
United States
phone: (360) 647-5593

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

BillRoth, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of jellikit
4.05/5  rDev -1%

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.

jellikit, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of Gaffattack
4.5/5  rDev +10%

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.

Gaffattack, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of stokeliosis
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

stokeliosis, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of denverick
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

denverick, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of PhillipNordwall
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

PhillipNordwall, Oct 29, 2013
Photo of vbre23
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%

Always visit Boundary Bay when we go to Bellingham. Great atmosphere but gave it an OK only because it was always too crowded when I went there. They need to expand. Otherwise I could rate it higher. The servers busted their tails to get the beer out so I say great service! My favorite beer is the Imperial IPA. Be ready for it! IBU's are up there! Great place!

vbre23, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of kemoarps
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%

It definitely helps that it's a beautiful day, but walking up to the brewery with the view of the bay is stunning on a day like this.
Greeted by hop vines growing just inside a fenced off area next to the entrance, the seating is open and airy. It probably could get kind of stuffy during the winter when it's socked in, but on a bright sunny day like this it's airy and open.
Really friendly staff everytime I've come in, whether just to pick up some bottles or to eat. Even when it's super busy they are good about communicating that fact and keeping things moving.
Delicious food, handmade using local ingedients for the most part... priced about on par with standard stuff of the type.

Wholeheartedly recommend stopping in anytime you're in Bellingham, or northewest washington in general for that matter

kemoarps, May 08, 2013
Photo of SecondStage1983
3.08/5  rDev -24.7%

Oh Boundary Bay Brewery, you are a staple in the Bellingham community. When I was first introduced to craft beer you were my love. Your scotch ale was delicious, but soon things started changing.

Your service was sub-par. I would sit waiting to be served for 5-10 minutes without even being so much as talked to. Your servers were curt and not very friendly.

We started growing apart as I found better and better craft beers and bars/eateries that had better beer on tap. I began to notice that pretty much all your beers tasted the same, hoppy and sweet. My massive headaches after just two of your beers were attributed not long enough fermentation times.

You're getting better though and i hope our relationship can be mended in the coming years.

SecondStage1983, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of slander
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

slander, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of long4hops
2.73/5  rDev -33.3%

By far one of the most over rated brewerys i have ever been to. The restaurant itself is nicely laid out with a big open bar to sit and enjoy some beer. They also have a wonderfull beer garden great to enjoy a few beers and usually listen to some great local music.

Service is usually a little slow. Sometimes coming off as pretentious, but thats just B-Ham for ya.

The food has always been pretty decent, with a menu based on local farms. Unfortunately for my experience's the beer has been just ok, without really sticking out from any other brewery. I feel the beers are rushed through the final stages of brewing, creating an unfinished balance at the end of every drink.

Seems they have a devoted local following, which is good to see people appreciate and support local business.

Suprisingly there is much better beer down the street at chuckanut without said following.

long4hops, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%

On the way to see Mt. Baker, I decided to stop in to this brewery. While it was not difficult to find a good IPA in the region, this place did well across the board for a change, as their stronger and darker beers ranged to above average to exceptional. I don't recall anything too bold as far as styles, but for what they had I was very pleased. Service was slightly above average to very good and I didn't try the food. One beer for me that stood out definitely was their Imperial Porter, which I had to buy a bottle on the way out. I would stop here again, if and ever in Bellingham again.

MilwaukeeCrusher, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%

Bellingham is such a sweet little town - worth the trip for scenery, vibe, food, and this cool little brewery.

garage doors, open air, full of space and exposed brick. cool place.

Boundary Bay has a solid arsenal of brews, most certainly headlined by the stellar IPA which is difficult to track down (in the bottle) outside of the brewery.

The 15th anniversary was a nice potent strong ale and the ESB was fairly good.

Service is strong and attentive, with a rotating-staff approach to ensure all needs are met.

We only had a light chips/salsa appetizer just to pass the time but the salsa was solid and the chips were standard.

So far, easily one of my favorite washington brewers.

dirtylou, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of LazyL
3.6/5  rDev -12%

Old building with high ceilings and some tacky art work. Old wooden mismatched tables and chairs on a nice wood floor. You dont go here for the food or the atmosphere, but for the beer. Their IPA is quite nice and the Imperial Oatmeal Stout is very good. The seasonals look to be outstanding. Had a Belgian Pale Ale served in a nice brandy snifter. Cascadian Dark Ale coming out soon. Would have probably given higher marks in the summer when the outdoor patio opens and I had more than 2 of their pints.

LazyL, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of otto251068
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%

Atmosphere: Nice long bar, plenty of tables in the place. My favorite thing about Boundary Bay (besides the beer) is the beer garden. A great place to sit outside with plenty of seating and they also have a couple kegs out there so you don't have to walk inside. If you sit inside the place feels so open.

Quality: For what they have, the quality is great. Just take a look at all the medals and awards littering the walls.

Service: Plenty of staff. Always someone walking around that you can flag down if you need something. If you sit at the bar the bartenders are always attentive. Never had a problem with the service.

Selection: More than a dozen beers to choose from. BB always has most of their "staple" beers on tap, and then a rotating seasonal list. I'm a big variety fan so BB is a good place where I can always get something I haven't had in a while.

Value: Overall, a bit on the pricey side, but their beers are top notch. One of my favorite places in Washington.

otto251068, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of WaBeerBlog
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%

Boundary Bay is one of our all-time favorite brewpubs. The atmosphere is convivial and laid-back. The beers are award-winning, top-notch, with a good variety always on tap. The food is creative, fresh, local and delicious (try the Yam Alecheladas). And the ownership is engaged and cares deeply about the Bellingham community.

The 21+ bar area is the best place to sit, and it seems no matter what time you are there it's packed with everyone from the 21-year-old WWU student to the 65-year-old local fisherman.

Also of note is the beer garden, open roughly late spring through early fall with frequent events like live music, community events and even weddings. It's one of the largest beer gardens around, and it seems like it's always sunny in Bellingham.

Boundary Bay is a great place to stop on the way to or from hiking or skiing at Mt Baker, or we also enjoy spending the whole weekend in Bellingham to soak up the outdoorsy northwest vibe.

WaBeerBlog, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of Bfarr
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%

Boundary Bay has a lot to offer. Family dining, tap room with a couple of TV's, a beer garden, and an almost constant stream of events throughout the year. There is a good amount of seating available when the outside is open but limited at all other times.

Boundary Bay is all about the beer. They are very prompt at getting your beers out to you. However, the servers (and some bartenders) are not always very knowledgeable about what they have and what to recommend. Being a fan on facebook I have often been more knowledgeable about the different beer they have. That being said, they are always trying new things and have different taps rotating in conjunction with their regulars and the new cask engines they put in make choosing even more difficult. Definitely not a bad problem at all!

The food is good though in my opinion not as spectacular as they like to promote. They have a wide variety of offerings for the family and even brew a house root beer for the kids, although my root beer connoisseur son states it's just above average. They are also quite slow at the best of times. Last Friday it took over 20 minutes to get a couple appetizers out to our table, which I suppose does give you time for more beer which is what they may want in the first place.

They are a bit pricey for what you get relative to other locations. In fact, I can get a growler of seasonal brews (which they refuse to sell at Boundary Bay) down at the Porterhouse Pub in Mount Vernon for the same price they sell their regular offerings. I think this is due to a lack of competition in the area and the fact that they have been firmly entrenched in the community for a long time.

Overall, Boundary Bay is certainly a worthwhile stop if you're ever around the city of Bellingham.

Bfarr, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%

A: Stopped in here on a Saturday, busy World Cup day, farmers market and WWU graduation. Busy but I saw some beer shirts. Laid back.

Q: Beer quality at BB is always good to very good

S: Slow at times but not bad, it was a busy day afterall.

S: 7 regular handles and 3 seasonals but nothing exciting at all

F: Fish tacos and burger were bland, bad, we did NOT finsh them. Not bad on price for the food but I have had better pub food for sure

Overall a good stop and glad I went but probably would not go out my way to go back.

barleywinefiend, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of loren01
4.58/5  rDev +12%

Went here while in Bellingham a couple weekends ago. Had been here one other time and had an awesome time here and remembered how good everything was. Went somewhat early...maybe like 4pm and the place was packed....looks like the locals love this place as well. Parking was a bit of a challenge but finally found a spot. We ended up having to wait for a table but the staff said we could grab a beer and go out on the patio so thats what we did. Looked like down below the patio they were setting up for some music that night. I started off drinking a double red which was one of their seasonals on the menu. The double red was amazing! Finally some guy left so we grabbed his table in the bar area and sat down. Service was very prompt...and we ordered our food and another beer (dopplebock this time). The dopplebock was even better than the first beer. We ended up getting nachos and a side of beef stew. Both of which were amazing. Its a good thing boundry bay isn't in the town I live in cause I'd be there probably more than I should. A must visit while in Bellingham.

loren01, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of bigkingken
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%

This is about as good as it gets, folks.

Located a handful of miles south of the Canadian border, Boundary bay may be the perfect local brewpub. The restaurant is set in what once must have been a large garage, because a giant garage door separates the main dining area from the patio area open when the weather is nice.

But other than that, you'd never know it was a garage. The tables, decorations, bar, televisions and general atmosphere has nothing "garage" about it. The giant boats, sails and mounted fish adorning the ceilings and walls is a bit over the top, but overall, I loved the feel of this place.

The menu is *almost* typical pub fare. The difference is the ingredients: the combinations of local ingredients and freshness of what is available.

For example, my dining partner got a delicious pizza topped with smoked salmon and pesto. I had a sandwich stacked high with a fresh filet of salmon. And the pumpkin cheesecake to top the meal off wasn't too bad either. It tasted just like the perfect pumpkin pie, which I've never had, because apparently the perfect pumpkin pie is a pumpkin cheesecake.

The beer is absolutely outstanding. They had nine of their own beers, each of which was heavy on the malts, giving it the depth and complexity so sorely missed by many brewpubs looking to sell a lot of beer. The malt level means it is more expensive, and you can't drink as much, because it is filling as hell. But I loved absolutely everything they put in front of me.

And the service was great. Good suggestions. Attentive. Brought my large sampler out in flights so that they didn't get too warm.

bigkingken, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of RedDiamond
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%

It's tempting to think of Bellingham as the quintessential northwest city. It's comfortably mid-sized with a mix of historic charm, modern adaptations and a lively personality. That might also describe the Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro. It enjoys a great broken-in feeling courtesy of the building's origins as a downtown waterfront industry. The bar has worn, wooden floors, suspended sails and a dingy, and windows into the brewery. Plus, there's a beer garden, a patio, and isolated views of the bay.

The brewpub is in the heart of downtown Bellingham immediately across from the Farmer's Market. It's extremely popular among Bellinghammers. The diverse food menu is reasonably priced, tasty and falls mainly into that imprecise category called "comfort food." Try splitting a mac & cheese and a salad with a friend or the grilled portobellos if available.

The bar has just six seats. But the bar room and dining hall probably hold 100 or more people and will be packed during peak service hours. Expect a twenty-minute wait for a table on a Friday night. Service is responsive and pleasant. On one occasion my server forgot to bring me a beer menu for perhaps 15 minutes but compensated for this with a pint on the house. Apparently it's their policy.

Ten house beers include about seven regulars, three seasonals, one nitro tap and no guests. Cask ales are tapped on Thursdays. Boundary Bay enjoys a solid reputation for fine ales though my experience has been mixed. Most beers are American and British Isle derived with rare excursions into continental territory. 22-oz. bottles are available to go at the service counter.

RedDiamond, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of JTrona11
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%

This is my local brewpub and one of my favorite places to drink.

The atmosphere is casual, comfortable and laid back.

The quality is very good, sometimes excellent.

The service can vary with who you get as a server. Some of the best service I've ever had has been at BB, and some of the worst. Not all of the bartenders and servers care about beer and will say whatever you want to hear to get more tips. There are a couple who do care, and if you find Paige, Erin, Ryan or Whitney behind the bar the service and knowledge levels rise.

The selection of beers is very good, with a steady 6-7 regulars and perhaps 15-20 various seasonals throughout the year.

The food is very good and has enough variety to satisfy an entire group.

A must visit when in the Northwest.

JTrona11, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of berley31
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%

Dropped in for lunch and a beer on the way to Seattle from Vancouver. Atmosphere was comfortable enough, but not exactly what I'd call 'cozy' or 'warm'. Sat in the bar area where there's basically a bunch of picnic tables. Ordered their Blonde (which was pretty good) and the Yellow Curry as a meal, which was also good. They had a bunch of their other beers on tap that I would have been interested in trying if we'd only had the time. Waitress was friendly and fast. A nice enough spot that I'd easily visit again if in the area.

berley31, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%

Unassuming in the front, but once inside, Boundary Bay is welcoming (ie. not trendy or upscale) and enormous. Two separate indoor rooms with high ceilings, adjoined by two adjacent doorways, and a great multi-level beer garden--a deck, and another space below it on ground level, and next to that a tent with yet more picnic tables. Would be a kick-ass place for Oktoberfest, or any kind of occasion really. Nobody was in that area when I went, maybe because it was too cold and kind of drizzly.

Service was excellent, very attentive and knowledgeable about the beer. The beer itself was delicious--I had the bock and IPA. Expertly-crafted stuff that would keep me going back even if the food sucked (it didn't, although what I had was merely good).

Local art was displayed on the walls, and was for sale, and from reading the menu as well, it seems they're very much in support of their local community, in terms of the ingredients they use. They were even selling copies of Tom Robbins' new book, 'B is for Beer' (a kids' book for adults, or an adult book for kids), which I happened to have read just before leaving for my trip northwest.

A great place whose atmosphere and service is recommended, but of course it's the beers that you shouldn't pass up if you're ever in the area. So glad I went.

Metalmonk, May 15, 2009
Photo of cdViking
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%

Pretty much my stomping grounds throughout my university days at Western Washington U. Visited again this last weekend, and enjoyed myself tremendously.

Best part about the place is the atmosphere. Great, unpretentious crowd with few/no drunk idiots, frequent free live music in the main bar area, and awesome reggae nights and BBQs during the summer. The most fun place to drink beer in Bellingham.

The quality of the beer and the food is a mixed bag that leans towards the side of being very good. The food is standard bistro fare, but the soup and sandwiches are tremendous, and most entrees have generous portion sizes. As far as beer goes, there are usually 5-6 staples and a couple of seasonals on tap, with the quality varying from the very good (IPA, Oatmeal Stout, Barleywine) to the alright (Scotch, Irish Stout) to the wholly unimpressive (Bellingham Blonde). Still, tasty brews are abound.

The service is fine, for the most part depending on who you get as a server. Unpretentious attitude is nice, but sometimes leads to an unprofessional attitude. Servers are honest about what's good and bad, and are willing to make accomodations.

The place on the whole is a very good value, with exceptionally low food prices. The pints are a fair bit pricey (~$4.50) considering you can go down the street to Bob's or the Horsehoe and get the same beer for $3.75, but that's to be expected.

On the whole, great place to come back to again and again.

cdViking, Apr 13, 2009
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Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro in Bellingham, WA
91 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.