Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro


1107 Railroad Ave.
Bellingham , WA 98225


Every day 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM


It’s difficult to describe Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro to those who have never been there. A neighborhood pub, an internationally acclaimed brewery, a favorite lunch and dinner restaurant, and so much a part of the local scene that it often has the feel of a very active community center. The brewery has always been famous for its extensive variety of brews, many of them having won and continuing to win awards in national and even worldwide competitions. Initially only serving nibbles and snacks, the menu has evolved into a pleasant selection of choices which should have something for just about any diner from vegetarian to a fully developed carnivore. The items on the lunch menu including appetizers, soups, salads and various entrees are served all day. In the evening a selection of heartier plates are additionally offered. For those who don’t actually prefer beer, other beverages including regionally and internationally popular wines are available.

The Thomas Burns building constructed in 1922 is an ideal location for the brewery and restaurant. Located on the south end of historic Railroad Ave, in the heart of downtown Bellingham, its high ceilings, brickwork and antique semi-industrial look provides just the right atmosphere to enjoy casual dining, brew sampling and witnessing the machinations of beer making behind the tall glass windows lining the bar area. This open and brightly lit room is a pleasant place to enjoy banter with friends while enjoying some of the energy of the Bellingham scene. The clientele is primarily local but there’s always an interesting mix of visiting craft-brew lovers and tourists. It wouldn’t be unexpected to see faces showing sun and wind glow from a day of kayaking or hiking, possibly a table of Europeans visiting famous brew pubs, friends meeting after work to plan a weekend outing or a group of tourists buying Boundary Bay mementos before boarding their ferry to Alaska.

While the main room has toned down the volume with some discrete acoustic treatments hidden in the ceiling; for a quieter dining experience or if you have children then the bistro area is your best choice. Darker lighting and a cozier setting provide a better place for quiet discussion or dining alone. Open in the summer months, both the outside seating and the beer garden are a great favorite with adults and families with children. Room to dance on the grass can give the children a little room to work off some excitement without bothering other guests but they’ll have to go home at 10 when the dining becomes adults only. Facing westward over the site of the old paper mill on Bellingham Bay the setting sun is guaranteed to shed its last gold into this garden courtyard. Separated from Railroad Avenue by a high trellis for growing hops, a traditional ingredient of beer, it’s hard to imagine a better setting.

While many of the beers are produced year-round, there’s a wonderful variety of brews that are available for only a limited time each year. Welcoming the seasons look for dark full bodied varieties in winter, bright hoppy choices for spring, light refreshing beers for summer, and fruity-heady selections for fall. Even the fresh healthy food finds ways to celebrate the seasons. When possible, many of the ingredients are purchased locally, some from the farmer’s market held just across the street each Saturday in the summer. Occasional brunches are also popular and are offered to celebrate special community events, holidays, and fundraisers.

During the day, if you don’t have the time to savor your favorite brew, lunches are generally served briskly, giving you plenty of time to get back to work or onto other activities. In the evenings, there’s often live music to enjoy. While Boundary Bay beers are increasingly available throughout the region, many of the seasonal brews are produced solely for sale at the brewery so you’ll have to visit if you want to taste them. If you find your way there frequently you might want to invest in a growler, just remember "fresh beer waits for no man" so you won’t want to save it too long before enjoying it.
Written By: Bud Hardwick
On: 2/16/1999


The Brewery is located on the south end of Railroad Avenue in downtown Bellingham. From I-5 take the Lakeway Exit and drive west toward the bay and downtown. Continue down on one-way Holly Street. In several blocks come to Railroad Avenue, turn left, go two blocks, Boundary Bay is on the right near the end of the last block.


Wheelchair Accessible | Beer and Wine | Dinner | Lunch | Outdoor seating | Smoke-free


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