A new kind of beer bar opens in Bellingham on Saturday, July 2nd
A new beer-focused business is poised to open near the waterfront in downtown Bellingham. Ponderosa Beer + Books will offer food- and beer-focused books alongside a selection of beer available on tap or to go. The location is 1225 Roeder Avenue, not far from the Hotel Bellwether and other bayside businesses, as well as some popular biking and walking paths. The opening is set for noon Saturday, July 2nd. Below, we share the opening day taplist and other essential info.
In all, Ponderosa Beer + Books will offer 16 draft beers, ciders, and wines along with a curated selection of beers to go. Indoor and outdoor seating provide views of the waterfront. Seating for 80 folks inside, plus a patio. Family-friendly, with a section for 21+ only.
Before landing in Bellingham, Jessie Polin, the owner and founder of Ponderosa Beer + Books, worked for a couple of well-known Seattle beer institutions: Fremont Brewing and Tom Douglas’ now-closed Brave Horse Tavern.
Jessie says she has a particular passion for European beer styles, so you can expect to see plenty of stuff like lagers and saisons on tap, but she will also lend plenty of attention to crowd-pleasing IPAs and other American craft beer styles. (It is Bellingham, after all.)
“Give me a well-made lager, something funky or an amazing Saison,” said Jessie. “I love an IPA as much as the next person, but I find myself searching for Saisons and Lagers time and time again. And that’s exactly what we will feature at Ponderosa. There are so many amazing examples being produced by breweries in yes, Belgium, but also up and down the West Coast and here in Bellingham. We’ll be the place to find them all.”
“Bellingham has a thriving and creative beer scene and with Ponderosa I am excited to help people keep exploring their love of beer by making these delicious Belgian and German styles approachable, inviting, and fun.”
Every craft beer enthusiast finds her own way to beer. Jessie’s path to the world of craft beer is not exactly common. She is a classically trained flutist who developed a love of craft beer during her time playing in the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra. That’s where her fellow musicians shared their passion for craft beer over pints at a local alehouse following rehearsals and concerts. That’s when her own passion began to grow.
Splitting her time between Boise and Seattle as a freelance musician, Jessie began working at Brave Horse Tavern where her love of the craft beer industry deepened. After making the decision to leave professional music and pursue beer full time, Jessie worked at Fremont Brewing for more than three years. She then decided to go in her own direction — a new city and a new concept.
“I’ve wanted to move to Bellingham since the very first time I visited,” said Jessie. “It has everything I love. It’s close to water, the mountains, it’s beautiful and the best part is I genuinely love the people here. It’s been really fun and as a new person in town, I’m so amazed by how welcoming and supportive everyone has been. I can’t wait to introduce them to the space and hope they love the selection we’ve put together.”
As for the books, Jessie says they’ve always been a big part of her life and were an important part of her exploration of craft beer and beverages. She hopes that with a rotating selection of beverage- and food-focused books she can break down some of the barriers around craft beer and help educate folks in an approachable way.
Also, she looks forward to offering a diverse selection of authors and titles to share fresh perspectives. The intention is to strengthen Jessie’s overall goal: making the unknown approachable, inviting, and fun.
“I’m excited about an opportunity to combine things I love the most all in one space. I hope people think of the books as a conversation starter and a way to engage more with beer.”
“The thing I love most about working in beer is helping everyone find a drink they truly enjoy – I’m good at it,” adds Jessie. “At Ponderosa, we will have an amazing and diverse selection to satisfy even the most discerning beer fan, but if you’re a newcomer, it’ll be a great place to learn, try something new and maybe even find a new favorite.”
Eventually, Ponderosa intends to feature a rotation of restaurant pop-ups and food trucks. Until that plan comes to fruition, guests are welcome and encouraged to bring outside food. With 80 seats indoors, plus an outdoor patio, Ponderosa is family-friendly with a dedicated 21+ mezzanine (also available for private events).
The Essential Info and Tap List
Info about the location, hours, and opening day taplist.
Ponderosa Beer + Books
1225 Roeder Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225
- Monday and Wednesday 2:00 -9:00
- Thursday 2:00-10:00
- Friday and Saturday 12:00-10:00
- Sundays 12:00-9:00
- Closed on Tuesdays
Opening Day Taplist
- Heater Allen Brewing – Pils
- Otherlands Beer – Polish Pils
- Chuckanut Brewery – New World Ale
- Fair Isle Brewing – Madame R. Galle Saison
- Holy Mountain Brewing – White Lodge Wit
- Wander Brewing – Lemon Basil Plum Bob
- Aslan Brewing – FIFA
- Jellyfish Brewing – Smack IPA
- Stoup Brewing – Mosaic Pale Ale
- Atwood Farm Brewing – Grasp The Nettle Saison
- Breakside Brewery – Passionfruit Sour
- Pfriem Family Brewers – Hazy IPA
- Yonder Cider – Sunnyslope
- Finnriver Cider – Black Currant
- Dragon’s Head Cider – Wild Ferment
- From The Tank Rosé (wine)
Follow Ponderosa on Instagram (@ponderosabeerandbooks).