A new lager-focused brewery opens in Bellingham on August 4th.
Sam and Kate Milne invite you to their new brewery, which opens in Bellingham on Friday, August 4th. With very few exceptions, Larrabee Lager Company will focus firmly on traditional lager-style beers. The brewery and its beer hall are located in the currently under-served Cordata neighborhood, not too far from Bellis Fair Mall, in the northern part of Bellingham.
The Opening Day Lineup
Here’s what you can expect to find on tap when they open the doors at Larrabee Lager Company:
- Dark Mexican Lager
- Cold IPA
You Better Come Correct
Bellingham is a town that knows a thing or two about lager. Chuckanut Brewery opened in Bellingham back in 2008 and operated there until it eventually moved out of town in 2021. Chuckanut Brewery is recognized as one of the most highly decorated lager-focused craft breweries in the USA. If you’re going to open a lager-centric brewery in the ‘ham, you better come correct. Larrabee Lager Company understands that.
“At Larrabee Lager Company we believe a great lager beer should follow tradition, not trends,” says the company’s website. “While many craft brewers flaunt their dry hop rates and adjunct pastry stouts, we’re thrilled to throw out terms like Kräusening, decoction, and spunding.” (We actually discussed spunding here on the Blog recently, FYI.)
“Brewing exemplary lager is a highly technical process, and our purpose-built brewhouse has been specially designed and engineered to produce lager-style beers with precision and consistency.”
The Story Behind the Beer
The intention at Larrabee Lager Company is to make exemplary lagers based on tradition. Intentions are important, but so too are experience and know-how. Sam Milne, co-founder and head brewer at Larrabee Lager, started his career in the brewing industry at Kulshan Brewing where his first brewhouse job involved washing kegs. It’s the same kind of humble beginning that kicked off the careers of many great brewers. Working your way up through the ranks is pretty common in the industry.
Eventually, Sam became the head brewer at Kulshan Brewing. He then earned a prestigious scholarship from the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation, which helped him advance his understanding of the art and science of beer by attending two of the world’s leading brewing academies: Siebel Institute in Chicago and Doemens Academy in Munich.
Upon returning to Washington, Sam worked at Brick West Brewing in Spokane as it was opening. There, he spent a couple of years helping design, build, and operate the new brewery. In 2021 Sam and Kate returned to Bellingham to realize their dream.
About the Brewery and Beer Hall
It’s time for Sam and Kate to share their dream with the public, which is good news for you. In addition to the beer, Larrabee Lager Company will serve pizzas in a kid-friendly beer hall. Sorry, no dogs. Yet.
It’s a spacious taproom, with a seating capacity of 200. There are 17 beer-garden, community-style tables. One corner of the room is dedicated to the kids: play tables, games, etc. For the grown-ups, there is plenty of room away from the kid’s corner. There’s also a plan to open an outdoor seating area, but that will likely take some time and may not happen until next summer. Once the patio is open, they’ll welcome dogs.
About the name: In 1913, a local businessman named Charles Larrabee deeded a large tract of land along Chuckanut Drive to Washington State for the purpose of creating a crazy new thing called a State Park. Charles Larrabee died before the plan came to fruition but his widow made sure the vision came to life. In 1923, Chuckanut State Park was renamed Larrabee State Park in honor of Charles Larrabee. It was the first Washington State Park. It’s still there and it’s still awesome.
Larrabee Lager Company is located at 4151 Meridian Street, Bellingham, WA 98226. Although the address says Meridian Street, the brewery and beer hall actually looks out on Cordota Parkway.