First of all, don’t worry too much. Most of this is good news. The good news adds up to more beer for the people who love what Chuckanut Brewery does. The sad news, Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen in Bellingham is closing down. The brewery, the pub, all of it. I had to double-check and make sure today is not April Fool’s Day. It’s not.
The brewery currently operates two locations: the original Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen in Bellingham, Washington, and the Chuckanut South Nut brewery and taproom in Burlington, Washington. As we reported previously, the company also has plans to open a third location in Portland, Oregon: The Chuckanut Beer Hall in SE Portland. Affectionately referred to as the P Nut.
While announcing expansion plans for its South Nut location in Burlington, and the expected opening of its P Nut location in November, Chuckanut Brewery also announced that its original brewery and pub in Bellingham will be closing. This, because of the landlord’s plans to do something else with the building. The brewery hopes and expects to resurface in Bellingham, but for now… closing down sometime in mid-October. (We will share more as we learn it.)
There’s no getting around it. This is heartbreaking news. The location on Holly Street in Bellingham has produced so many award-winning beers since opening in 2008 that it should be registered as a historic landmark.
“Meanwhile all of Chuckanut friends in Bellingham are encouraged to come in and say goodby to the outstanding Chuckanut front and back house team in before the closing,” said a statement from the brewery. “When you visit South Nut the same fabulous brewers will all be working at the Skagit Valley location along with the small team of front house employees. It’s time for big changes for Chuckanut, and the continued support by drinking some of the best craft beers in America and the world is very much appreciated!”
At the same time, the South Nut facility in Burlington will more than double in size. What’s more, that part of the plan will see Chuckanut Brewery dive deeper into the packaging side of the beer biz. More bottles and cans are forthcoming.
“Chuckanut dabbled in packaging their fine beers in bottles and then cans for a short period in 2020 and 2021,” said a statement from the company. “It became clear that fans wanted to see more cans and bottles in their neighborhood bottle shops and grocery stores. Because of this request, plans were started on how packaging of Chuckanut beers could be accomplished.”
“The Port of Skagit, in support of Chuckanut, will prepare a pad-ready area for the expansion of the building at the South Nut production facility. The small-batch brewery that was in Bellingham will then be moved and housed in the expanded brewery building which will also hold a packaging house, truck loading docks, and staging area as well as a large storage area for cans, bottles, and finished brewery products.”
The Washington Beer Blog will keep a close eye on things. The expansion plans and Chuckanut Brewery’s hopeful return to the Bellingham beer scene.