The Sunnyland neighborhood in Bellingham is starting to look a lot like Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. There may be no other place on earth that enjoys such a dense population of breweries as Ballard, but Sunnyland is definitely an up-and-comer. It’s currently home to five breweries with two more slated to open soon, all within walking distance of each other.
Two new brewery locations are getting ready to open in Bellingham. One is a new location for a long-trusted brewery, while the other is an entirely new enterprise. Below I share some updates from North Fork Brewery and El Sueñito Brewing.
North Fork Barrel House
The North Fork Brewery, a self-described brewery, pizzeria, and beer shrine, is located along Highway 542 about 20 miles northeast of Bellingham. It is familiar to skiers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts headed to and from Mount Baker. Also, the brewery is familiar to beer geeks who consider it a pilgrimage to visit the Beer Shrine.
The brewery is poised to open a taproom in Bellingham in the former home of the Mt. Baker Foundry, creating much easier and more immediate access to its beers. This will be a taproom only, with no brewery or pizzeria. Just beer. The location is at the corner of Ohio Street and Grant Street, just a couple of blocks from Wander Brewing and just a couple blocks from the other new brewery location I’m about to introduce.
From North Fork Brewery’s Instagram: “The North Fork Barrel House in Bellingham will be opening on Thursday, August 4th! … We just got the final word only a few days ago, and we’re still working a few things out.”
“… let us assure you that nothing is changing at our original brewery & restaurant on Mt. Baker Hwy. Second, we’d like to clarify that our Bellingham location is going to be a tap-room and due to current space limitations, unfortunately can not accommodate a kitchen. (never say never though.)”
North Fork Barrel House, 1900 Grant St, Bellingham, WA 98225. Opening August 4, 2022.
Beer and Tamales at El Sueñito Brewing
Two blocks up the street from the new North Fork Barrel House, the folks at El Sueñito Brewing are busily working to build out their brewery and taproom (at the corner of Iowa Street and Humbolt Street). As we explained in a previous story, the plan involves tamales. The partners in El Sueñito Brewing, Dennis and Osbaldo, are also owners of Frelard Tamales, a wildly popular tamale shop in Seattle. Really, really good tamales!
More than beer and tamales, El Sueñito Brewing is bringing diversity to the Bellingham beer scene. Dennis Ramey and Osbaldo Hernandez, the owners, are a married, gay, interracial couple. Along with diversity, they hope to contribute to the fabric of the community as a force for good.
They are currently in the build phase at El Suenito Brewing, having already passed the expected opening date. (Totally normal in the brewing industry, where everything always takes longer than expected.) To keep you interested as things come together, they’re running a contest on Instagram.
From El Sueñito Brewing’s Instagram: “Every Wednesday, until we open, we will post a photo with a discretely placed item for you to find in the photo. We will always give you a hint of said item so you know what you’re looking for. Sort of like a “Where’s Waldo?” exercise.”
“If you find the item, you have to do two things: (1) Comment on this post by writing “Found it!” and (2) send us a private message with a screenshot indicating where you found the said item. You have to be the first person that clearly indicates what & where the said item is to win a $35 gift certificate to our brewery & kitchen. You must complete both steps to be considered. We will announce the winner on Fridays.”
El Sueñito Brewing will be located at 1926 Humboldt St, Bellingham, WA 98225.
We will keep an eye on both of these projects and look forward to visiting each as soon as they open.