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Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro

Not Rated.
Boundary Bay Brewery & BistroBoundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

51 Ratings
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.49%
Active Beers: 53
Beer Ratings: 726
Beer Avg: 3.7
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: 51 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of loren01
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%

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 +14.6%

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 -4.9%

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 +5.6%

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 -4.9%

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 +4.4%

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.

Metalmonk, May 15, 2009
Photo of cdViking
4.1/5  rDev 0%

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
Photo of gboyd
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

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!

The beer...
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.

gboyd, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of dbalsock
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

dbalsock, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of allergictomacros
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%

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.

allergictomacros, May 19, 2008
Photo of John_M
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%

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....

John_M, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of Viggo
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

Viggo, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of beertunes
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

beertunes, Sep 26, 2007
Photo of eballard
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%

Boundary Bay is a must for any one interested in Washington breweries. It’s a small place but if you know good beer you’ll want to go to the effort to try this beer. It’s hidden in downtown Bellingham but it’s 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 don’t be in a hurry because the whole city runs at it’s own pace and this brewery is no exception. It’s a relaxed atmosphere and family friendly so if you’re 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 won’t be disappointed if you head here.

eballard, May 29, 2007
Photo of BDTyre
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

BDTyre, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of waldowin
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Was headed up to Bellingham to visit a friend, and decided we should eat at Boundary Bay, having never been there.

Sails drape from the ceiling, light fixtures poking through. Live music outside, wooden tables, and a kitchen entrance right next to the bar, facing the main floor, lead to a relaxed, somewhat noisy atmosphere.

Our waitress was kept very busy, but never failed to check in on us, and keep our food and drinks coming. As soon as a glass was half empty, it was refilled. The empty glasses from our beer sampler platter were cleared almost as soon as we set them down.

We had a plate of nachos to start, and then dove into some lamburgers, which are served on a toasted roll. We had blue cheese added, and it was one of the best burgers I've had.

Of the sampler platter, the Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Scotch Ale, and IPA really stood out. Unfortunately, they were sold out of bottles of the IOS, not surprisingly.

The sampler platter and the burger came to $16 after tax, so it's not dirt cheap, but for the money you really can't beat the food.

waldowin, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of davidchollar
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%

years ago i had a dinner party here, got the sampler set, loved it. i remember it well, because i had already been going to WWU (about 10 blocks away) for a year, but just discovered this place. i was surprised and impressed that a place like this exists, where you can get good food and great beer in a cool, relaxed atmosphere.

last week i took the family on a little trip up to victoria. from there we took the ferry over to vancouver, stopped in B'ham for a short visit on the way back to seattle. we didn't have much time, so i went to boundary bay just to check it out and buy some bottles to take home. the place had obviously been remodeled. there is a big outdoor dining area i don't remember, and the basic layout is different, expanded i think.

i spent some time looking at the t-shirts and sweatshirts for sale, eventually made my way to the bar. i told the bartender i wanted to buy some bottles, and she said all they had was the ESB and the scotch style ale. while i was waiting for her to get some bottles for me, i asked for a sample of the 2003 bounder. WOW. that was one of the most flavorful beers i tasted on my whole 2-week trip, wish i could have had more. i have yet to enter my reviews for the beers, from notes. the ESB was pretty good, i really liked the scotch style ale though it doesn't compare to the awesome fat bastard.

the reason i docked some points for service is that after i walked in, i wandered around for nearly 5 minutes checking out the place and nobody said a word. they looked a little busy with a little late lunch rush, but everybody saw me looking around like it was my first time there and they ignored me. even when i went to the bar, it took a few minutes for the bartender to even notice me, but there were only about 3 guys at the bar. this was a little annoying at first, but then she was nice, helpful and quick. wish i could've tried all they had to offer, but i had to drive. next time i'll stay in town and walk as it's conveniently located downtown.

davidchollar, Aug 20, 2006
Photo of carln26
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%

I had dinner and a few beers here several years ago when on a sailing trip to the San Juans, but this was my first opportunity to really sit, enjoy, and review this pub. It’s located in downtown Bellingham, very accessible on Railroad Street. Decent space. It looks like it might have been a converted garage, as I sat in the bar area, and there is a large garage door on the front wall. Rustic styling with lots of regional decorations, and some sports goods (bikes, skis, etc) hanging from the ceiling.

Nice friendly staff with prompt service. I like the people here. Primarily locals. Workers, professionals, and college students. Fleece and blue jeans are the attire here, not the dress clothes I had on (I was on my way back from a business meeting in Vancouver), I like the laid back atmosphere.

Nice selection of beer. About 8 on tap including a seasonal winter warmer, and several regulars. All the beers were obviously very fresh, and pretty tasty. Their IPA is exceptional.

Nice selection of food. Plenty of salads, sandwiches, wraps, pasta, fresh seafood, and pizzas. The Thai wrap I had came with a side salad. It was a tasty, light dinner, and was perfect with the hoppy beers I was enjoying. Prices are reasonable, not cheap, but under control.

All together a great place. Worth a stop if you are in the most northern city in the mainland US.

carln26, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of Derek
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%

Well worth the cross-boarder trek, (and only a couple of blocks from the bottle shoppe).

You can see the stainless steel mash tuns from the seats up front. Great atmosphere for a brew pub.

A tray of six 5-oz samples is a reasonable $8. A limited number of their brews are available in 22oz bottles for take-out, and they'll fill a growler with anything on tap.

Some of their beers were a little murky (no finnings or filtering), but they were packed full of flavour. Lots of Pacific Northwest hops.

Not your typical pub grub menu... lots of tasty things to choose from, as well as vegitarian and pescitarian options.

Friendly staff, good service. I'd go out of my way to make it there again!

Derek, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of canucklehead
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%

Had a little bit of trouble finding this place as Railroad Ave is very short but the effort was worth it as I can safely say that these guys brew some great beer.
The bartender set me up with a taster and then threw in all the extra seasonals for free which is nice when a BA's interest is rewarded with being able to taste the whole range. What a range; everything from a light ale to a barley wine , Double IPA ,Dunkelbock and every style in between. Every beer is good with some such as the Double IPA and Barleywine approaching great. The brewer skip came out told me that he is taking over a brewpub in Port Angeles so I hope ther quality will continue.
The food was nicely made and presented and the space was big and bright with lots of outdoor tables for summertime.

canucklehead, Apr 14, 2004
Photo of freed
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

For a college kid, this was a great place to take the parents. A nice mix of house brews, pleasantly decorated building, and really good food.

Boundary Bay sits just west the main drag, and is within fairly easy walking distance of much of the town. Its in a old shop building with a vacant lot on one side, which lends itself well for projecting movies onto the wall of the opposite building. Its hard to beat watching a cult classic on the deck with beers during the summer.

The beers themselves are solid NW style beers. Hoppy, Malty, and good. I sometimes find it difficult to distinquish between them, but they are quite good. The Doppelboch is excellent.

A wide variety of foods that really are quite cosmopolitain, and very good. I've never had a bad meal here. Service is good, but nothing that distinquishes itself from other places. There's a nice green feeling about the place, almost like an old Park lodge.

freed, Aug 16, 2003
Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro in Bellingham, WA
92 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.