Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
Active Beers: 64
Beer Ratings: 646
Beer Avg: 3.66
Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
4.28/5 rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
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.
05-15-2009 00:19:10 | More by Metalmonk
4.1/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
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.
04-13-2009 17:22:34 | More by cdViking
3.75/5 rDev -8.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
The place was hoppin! A weekend night during the holidays. .
We experienced a small wait at the door, where 2 out of the 3 employees I encountered were very pleasant (the third wasn't having any of it!)
They put us in a table too close to a set of stairs, which turns out is where the staff took their breaks. A lot of unnecessary bumping and moving of my chair during my meal...hhharumphhh!!! The place was also VERY NOISY.
We had decent service, nothing to write home about but also nothing to bitch about. Keep the beer full, but neglected the H2O glass all meal.
The food was pretty good, and very reasonably priced. Portions were good and the kitchen accommodated the wife's menu rewrites without exacting revenge by burning something (you would be surprised!) Everyone in our group got something different. All served tasty and hot!
My group tried everything. They had a decent selection of house beers but nothing that I would go out of my way to buy and bring back to MI with me.
I hear the music scene can be pretty fun, and it from the info on their website, it looks like a great mix of music, but again, I can only imagine how loud it must get with the addition of musician volume control ego syndrome!
If I lived in Bellingham, this would probably be my stomping grounds. This is a good place in a surprisingly bad beer town.
01-09-2009 15:32:38 | More by gboyd
4.13/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
So I've gone a couple times with different experiences each time. I've tried 7-8 of their beers and they were all at least decent. The scotch ale is better than the highland scotch ale, and their oatmeal imperial stout smells a little bit like wet dog, but other than those comments, the only thing I can say about their beer is: very good! The service has been good every time I've gone, with the servers noticing every time I was ready for a new beer. The atmosphere has been pleasant with nice seating and good lighting. Two times I went I ordered a pizza, and each time it had a very different crust. The first was big and fluffy and just how i like it, similar to pizza port in some ways. The second time was flat and not like pizza dough, but like flat bread. Both tasted good, but I definitely prefer the fluffy ones.
06-13-2008 04:48:33 | More by dbalsock
3.63/5 rDev -11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Just visited this place today. Atmosphere is relaxed and informal. I had a lovely, smoked salmon pizza here for under 10 dollars. 6 Regular and 3 seasonals on tap when I visited. Kind of a hippie-rustic sort of appeal if you like that kind of stuff. There was a fairly large indoor restaurant as well as an outdoor patio area and a Jazz band playing.
Beers, I found were maybe on the happy side of average. My favorite was the scotch ale, which I found quite good, as well as the blond. Lots of detail on the menu itself for interested parties, including OG and hop and malt varieties used.
05-19-2008 04:41:33 | More by allergictomacros
4.36/5 rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
No disrespect to the many outstanding places on the East Coast, but this place pretty much typifies why I'll always lean to the left when it comes to great beer establishments in th U.S.
The atmosphere of this place is drop dead NW. It has a completely laid back, nothing pretentious feel to it. Although the beer here is clearly world class, the atmosphere is unassuming, ho-hum, go with the flow West Coast. The crowd here really says it all. On this particular Monday afternoon there were families, young hipsters, and old farts like myself hanging out, relaxing, and just having a mellow time hanging out with friends and having a good time. As one enters the brewpub one sees off to the left a medium size bar with around 10 bar stools. There are some rickety old tables and chairs, high ceilings, and left over sails adorning the walls. The furnishings are pretty stark and are nothing fancy, giving the brewpub a minimalist, easy going, nothing pretentious vibe.
The quality of the beers here is off the charts. The regular line-up is stellar, with even the blond and amber worth a try. The imperial oatmeal stout is world class, and the seasonals... sigh. The dunkel bock was pretty much the best I've tasted in the U.S., and the Old Bounder barleywine and imperial IPA just fabulous. My test for outstanding DIPA's is that they have to be so hoppy that they wear my ass out, almost causing indigestion because of the excessive hoppiness and richness. The DIPA here more then meets that test.
The service here is the type of service that is so good it's hard to describe. This is a regular's bar, with most of the customers making this place their home away from home. The cute young bartender, at least on the day I was here, treated everyone accordingly. She seemed to know everyone by name, gave everyone a well deserved ration of shit, and then treated them like they were visiting relatives. She was friendly but polite, familiar but considerate.
As for the selection, the day I was here they had some 9 different beers on tap. Everything was pretty outstanding, though of course some things were better then others. The IPA and scotch ale were no better then fair, but pretty much everything else was outstanding.
This is the sort of place I only wish my friends on the East Coast could visit. At least from my experience so far, there is nothing quite like this on the East Coast, as it completely epitomizes the NW experience. There are plenty of fabulous places here on the East Coast, but there is NOTHING like Boundary Bay. This place is an absolute diamond in the rough; a complete gem. What I wouldn't give to have a place like this in Baltimore....
04-08-2008 04:26:01 | More by John_M
4.28/5 rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Went down to Bellingham to visit a friend of mine, luckily he lives about 15 minutes walk from the brewery. Atmosphere is a mix of tourists and locals, pretty neat. Big merch area right as you walk in, including a fridge full of bombers to take out. We went and sat at the bar, friendly and knowledgable enough bartender, nice wooden bar, wooden tables, miscellaneous water related items hanging around the bar. I think they had about 11-12 taps, all BB. I had three beers, which were all pretty solid to excellent. The menu is pretty varied and the lamb burger I had was quite nice. I found the prices to be pretty competitive and very reasonable. Very good place, have wanted to go for a while and will definitely go again next time I'm out this way.
02-25-2008 04:38:14 | More by Viggo
4.15/5 rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
okay, full disclosure. as a resident 'hamster this is my local so i am not completely neutural. the beer is excellent. the inside passage ale (ipa) is probably the best seller. ten taps include six or seven regular choices and three or four seasonals. try the latest in the single hop series. they make a pale ale with the same malt bill and only one type of hop. each time they make it they use a different variety of hop. the cabin fever winter ale is my favorite beer of the year here. the place is always busy so bring your patience. when the weather is good the beer garden is the way to go.
09-26-2007 09:37:05 | More by beertunes
4.03/5 rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Boundary Bay is a must for any one interested in Washington breweries. Its a small place but if you know good beer youll want to go to the effort to try this beer. Its hidden in downtown Bellingham but its not too hard to find. The brewery it self is a fairly large building for such a small beer but it gives them a great place for a good restaurant. The decor is nautical with lofty ceilings and open spaces. The food is great. They have a wide selection of your standard brew house favorites. The people are friendly and the service is nice but dont be in a hurry because the whole city runs at its own pace and this brewery is no exception. Its a relaxed atmosphere and family friendly so if youre a student at Western Washington University this is a great place to take your parents when they are in town. Brewery tours are available by appointment so call ahead and book one. In all if you want to visit a brewery when you in northern Washington you wont be disappointed if you head here.
05-29-2007 03:32:02 | More by eballard
British Columbia (Canada)
3.85/5 rDev -6.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Decent joint in downtown Bellingham. Nice decor, although the size of the building can make it seem a little spares at times. The white walls don't help. The place was decked out for Christmas, which was a nice touch. That it is non-smoking/all ages is a definite plus.
Service lost some points due to speed. They were friendly enough, but almost painfully slow. It wasn't busy when we got there, although it had picked up quite a bit at the end. Only one server was on, so I can't really blame her.
Good selection of food, almost a something for everyone place. The food itself was quite good. I've had better, but not often.
Wish i could have tried more of their beers.
12-21-2006 08:39:17 | More by BDTyre
Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro in Bellingham, WA
91 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.