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Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro

YOUR RATING = None |
BEER AVG
3.7/5
Boundary Bay Brewery & BistroBoundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

1107 Railroad Ave.
Bellingham, Washington, 98227
United States

(360) 647-5593 | map
www.bbaybrewery.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

BEER STATS
Beers:
62
Reviews:
393
Ratings:
838
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
91
Reviews:
43
Ratings:
64
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
8.07%
 
 
Taps:
0
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 64
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 4,859 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of LXIXME
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Photo of snaotheus
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I've actually been here many times, but never reviewed it until today, apparently. My wife, kids, mother, and I went there for lunch yesterday.

They're kid friendly, open and friendly vibe. Bistro isn't the nicest in the world, but it's not bad. I like going there.

They generally make good but not special beer. They have a decent selection of beer, maybe 8-10 taps, only their own beers. Yesterday, they had their 2014 Old Bounder on tap, and it was extremely good (I had a second glass of it and bought a bottle to take home).

Their food is good -- much better than standard pub grub. I haven't been disappointed by anything I've had there, and their menu seems to change somewhat, with a few dishes that seem to be on the menu all the time.

 747 characters

Photo of gandres
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Visited on an afternoon Saturday, December 26, 2015
Bartender was very attentive even with a full restaurant
Limited choice coming from brewery
location and place is very good but parking is a challenge

 203 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of Beervana
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of flagmantho
4.01/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I visited Boundary Bay on a recent trip to Bellingham and it was my favorite of the breweries I visited. It has a very lived-in brewpub feel, with a warm, welcoming atmosphere and a population of regulars in addition to the autumn-weekend tourists.

There were about a dozen beers on tap during my visit, and the ones I had were decent if not mind-blowing. Everything seems well-crafted, even if the individual beers weren't all exactly to my taste. The food is good; I opted for the reuben (my go-to brewery choice) and it was quite tasty. The staff are friendly and I felt like I was treated as a regular despite it having been my first visit. I will definitely try to return here the next time I'm in town.

 714 characters

Photo of Sails_Ambassador
4/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Noooddle
4.01/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of Rutager
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of Moose90
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Vibe — A bustling and busy space with nice tall ceilings and a small main bar area that peers into the brewing space. Nice and warm, always packed. Nice outdoor seating in the warmer months.

Quality — Always high quality, though the beers may not be earth shattering, they are always well made and tasty.

Service — Usually quite good, sometimes not so much, a bit inconsistent, but overall it is good, quick and attentive.

Selection — Limited taps and often times there is something on Randal and something on Cask, can usually find something new, but can always find an old favorite.

Food — Pretty limited menu, but I have never had a dish I didn't like, the Turkey Dip is a go to, and the salads are always great.

Overall — A great place for an original craft beer and good food. We go multiple times a month.

 830 characters

Photo of Brandonparrent
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of TheBungyo
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Boundary Bay has long been a staple in the NW craft beer community and even after all these years they're still on their game. Most of their offerings are very good, and the food is consistently good as well. Plus, there's usually a few offerings on cask. All of this coupled with great service make this a must visit when in Bellingham.

 338 characters

Photo of Anaxagoris
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of mr-jj
4.5/5  rDev +10%

I like the vibe of this brewpub. Lots of energy, friendly servers, great menu and food, and a good beer selection.

115 characters

Photo of ZachT
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Erik-P
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of Donkster46
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of soccerbrew
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of EspressoGuy
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
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 ...

 1,301 characters

Photo of Sound_Explorer
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of KStark
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of mabermud
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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 places to go in the summer for afternoon beers, plus it is very much, kid friendly. The outdoor seating/beer garden is nice, the events they have here are always fun, and it is centrally located in downtown Bellingham. Their beers are solid, the food is good, and the people are nice.

 492 characters

Photo of heyealex
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

 438 characters

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Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro in Bellingham, WA
91 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.
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