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Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
Active Beers: 54
Beer Ratings: 479
Beer Avg: 3.68
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
1107 Railroad Ave.
phone: (360) 647-5593
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vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
This is about as good as it gets, folks.
Located a handful of miles south of the Canadian border, Boundary bay may be the perfect local brewpub. The restaurant is set in what once must have been a large garage, because a giant garage door separates the main dining area from the patio area open when the weather is nice.
But other than that, you'd never know it was a garage. The tables, decorations, bar, televisions and general atmosphere has nothing "garage" about it. The giant boats, sails and mounted fish adorning the ceilings and walls is a bit over the top, but overall, I loved the feel of this place.
The menu is *almost* typical pub fare. The difference is the ingredients: the combinations of local ingredients and freshness of what is available.
For example, my dining partner got a delicious pizza topped with smoked salmon and pesto. I had a sandwich stacked high with a fresh filet of salmon. And the pumpkin cheesecake to top the meal off wasn't too bad either. It tasted just like the perfect pumpkin pie, which I've never had, because apparently the perfect pumpkin pie is a pumpkin cheesecake.
The beer is absolutely outstanding. They had nine of their own beers, each of which was heavy on the malts, giving it the depth and complexity so sorely missed by many brewpubs looking to sell a lot of beer. The malt level means it is more expensive, and you can't drink as much, because it is filling as hell. But I loved absolutely everything they put in front of me.
And the service was great. Good suggestions. Attentive. Brought my large sampler out in flights so that they didn't get too warm.
01-27-2010 23:24:38 |
More by bigkingken
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Boundary Bay is one of our all-time favorite brewpubs. The atmosphere is convivial and laid-back. The beers are award-winning, top-notch, with a good variety always on tap. The food is creative, fresh, local and delicious (try the Yam Alecheladas). And the ownership is engaged and cares deeply about the Bellingham community.
The 21+ bar area is the best place to sit, and it seems no matter what time you are there it's packed with everyone from the 21-year-old WWU student to the 65-year-old local fisherman.
Also of note is the beer garden, open roughly late spring through early fall with frequent events like live music, community events and even weddings. It's one of the largest beer gardens around, and it seems like it's always sunny in Bellingham.
Boundary Bay is a great place to stop on the way to or from hiking or skiing at Mt Baker, or we also enjoy spending the whole weekend in Bellingham to soak up the outdoorsy northwest vibe.
10-11-2010 18:29:23 |
More by WaBeerBlog
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Went here while in Bellingham a couple weekends ago. Had been here one other time and had an awesome time here and remembered how good everything was. Went somewhat early...maybe like 4pm and the place was packed....looks like the locals love this place as well. Parking was a bit of a challenge but finally found a spot. We ended up having to wait for a table but the staff said we could grab a beer and go out on the patio so thats what we did. Looked like down below the patio they were setting up for some music that night. I started off drinking a double red which was one of their seasonals on the menu. The double red was amazing! Finally some guy left so we grabbed his table in the bar area and sat down. Service was very prompt...and we ordered our food and another beer (dopplebock this time). The dopplebock was even better than the first beer. We ended up getting nachos and a side of beef stew. Both of which were amazing. Its a good thing boundry bay isn't in the town I live in cause I'd be there probably more than I should. A must visit while in Bellingham.
04-19-2010 16:04:29 |
More by loren01
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75 | $$
It definitely helps that it's a beautiful day, but walking up to the brewery with the view of the bay is stunning on a day like this.
Greeted by hop vines growing just inside a fenced off area next to the entrance, the seating is open and airy. It probably could get kind of stuffy during the winter when it's socked in, but on a bright sunny day like this it's airy and open.
Really friendly staff everytime I've come in, whether just to pick up some bottles or to eat. Even when it's super busy they are good about communicating that fact and keeping things moving.
Delicious food, handmade using local ingedients for the most part... priced about on par with standard stuff of the type.
Wholeheartedly recommend stopping in anytime you're in Bellingham, or northewest washington in general for that matter
05-08-2013 20:54:51 |
More by kemoarps
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
Was headed up to Bellingham to visit a friend, and decided we should eat at Boundary Bay, having never been there.
Sails drape from the ceiling, light fixtures poking through. Live music outside, wooden tables, and a kitchen entrance right next to the bar, facing the main floor, lead to a relaxed, somewhat noisy atmosphere.
Our waitress was kept very busy, but never failed to check in on us, and keep our food and drinks coming. As soon as a glass was half empty, it was refilled. The empty glasses from our beer sampler platter were cleared almost as soon as we set them down.
We had a plate of nachos to start, and then dove into some lamburgers, which are served on a toasted roll. We had blue cheese added, and it was one of the best burgers I've had.
Of the sampler platter, the Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Scotch Ale, and IPA really stood out. Unfortunately, they were sold out of bottles of the IOS, not surprisingly.
The sampler platter and the burger came to $16 after tax, so it's not dirt cheap, but for the money you really can't beat the food.
09-15-2006 21:57:36 |
More by waldowin
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Working our way up the coast to the forbidden zone, when Phil unexpectedly (to me, anyway) detours off the interstate for the scenic route, and then promptly stops at a random antique store (used loosely) on the side of the road. Wish I could get that harpoon back to NY with me. No, it’s a bad idea. Used a lifeline and called Carl Ronson for placement and disposition, and then came rolling into Bellingham. Spotted ‘Boundary Bay’, and thought, “Wasn’t that the name of Khan’s ship in the Star Trek episode?” Oh, wait, okay. Hey, there’s a beer festival happening across the street, stars, they be alignin’…
Early 20th century cinder blocky building standalone; with a center roll up garage door for when weather permits, and doors & panel windows on both ends. A small reception room off the far entrance with shwag sales & 22’s a cooler of 22’s gives way to the big room; just shy of 2 dozen tables across the room for the sittin’, some pushed together for parties larger, and a straight plank topped bar, slat base, & piping foot rail, with seating for 6 on green stools to the rear.
Slat wood barback units of shelving, glassware & growlers, split by a doorway to somewhere. To the center of the larger one side (the off center?), 10 taps on a stainless steel panel with vertical black slat pieces above, beer names printed there in colored markers, and a pair of handpumps off to the left. More glassware shelved below, and wines, too. Red, blue, & silver streamers lining the top side with strung baby frosty mug lights from end to end. Flats in both corners atop, and pieces in between (a ‘cask conditioned ales’ sign, a croquet set, mugs, other glassware, a pink flamingo, ceramic growlers, toy trains, a football helmet, house bombers, a mini leg lamp from ‘A Christmas Story’, oh, and a 3rd place award for a 2006 barleywine festival at Coles, a long way from home. It’s even got a little buffalo on top, cool).
Worn fat wood plank floorings, and beige walls & a high ceiling with a darker trim. Drop martini glass lamps over the bar and in rows about the rest of the room, with strung lighting from lamp to lamp. Nice vertical ‘Beers of Washington’ framed print to one side, and a corner not as small as it looks brew room to the left of the bar, with large brew room view windows; events and happy hour board above, and World Beer Cup awards displayed alongside. Piano against the inside wall with ‘Kayak ski to sea’ awards on top, black & white pics of things ski, brew, & boat (what else is there?) mounted, and a long loooong row of North American beer awards displayed. A giant sail affixed to the ceiling above the bar, and other sails mounted about the walls & ceiling lined with strung lighting. A great little boat mounted, a kayak, a beer & food 3D piece, international flaggings, & large boat art on the far wall. Old handpump set up, more croquet, & a barrel, with the kayak over the side room entrance vestibule.
And there’s a rear room long and narrowish with more seating; 2 and a ½ dozen tables pushed together in the places you need that to happen. Local prints for sale back there, and access to an outside side deck, a dozen + pic-a-nic tables there, and I think there’s an outside space I missed? It’s comfortably cool out today, I would like this weather for always, please.
So, beer; 6 house regulars (Bellingham Blonde, crisp, nice hop bite; Best Bitter, nice bitterness, a solid ESB; Amber, hoppier than maltier, good body; Inside Passage Ale, very nicely hoppy IPA; Scotch, good sweety, malty, and non-bandaidy, like too many others are; Dry Irish Stout, in lieu of the Impy Oatmeal Stout, chocolatey nose, bit of licorice, a little thin but most quaffable), 4 seasonals (Imperial IPA, a bit on the sweet side, as they generally are; Maibock, some sweet alcohol, a very nice example to style; Pilsner, nice bite, dry, crisp, good clean Pils; Highland Reserve Scotch Ale, biiiig alcohol & peaty), and both handpumps live (currently pouring the IPA & ESB). I’d say that Best Bitter, Amber, Inside Passage Ale, & Pilsner were my faves, but there were no clunkers here. None.
And food. I wanted a salad and chowder combo but Phil ordered 4 pretzels for the 2 of us (What’s your malfunction, carny?) I don’t give a shit though ‘cause I’m not leaving without having me the salmon chowder, and this one was excellent; potato, celery, carrots, onions, & big chunky salmon action.
Food fixed my head, and the beer was solid. It’s a good, comfortable house. Janet showed up with tix for the beer festival (well, that’s a day changer), and Ed dropped over, too (hey man, good to see you again). Really just super nice folks, but you already knew that, didn’t you? Well, off to the ‘Brewers by the Bay’ festival, I’m in no rush to see Vancouver anyway.
11-06-2012 02:48:33 |
More by slander
British Columbia (Canada)
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Well worth the cross-boarder trek, (and only a couple of blocks from the bottle shoppe).
You can see the stainless steel mash tuns from the seats up front. Great atmosphere for a brew pub.
A tray of six 5-oz samples is a reasonable $8. A limited number of their brews are available in 22oz bottles for take-out, and they'll fill a growler with anything on tap.
Some of their beers were a little murky (no finnings or filtering), but they were packed full of flavour. Lots of Pacific Northwest hops.
Not your typical pub grub menu... lots of tasty things to choose from, as well as vegitarian and pescitarian options.
Friendly staff, good service. I'd go out of my way to make it there again!
12-18-2005 03:43:07 |
More by Derek
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
No disrespect to the many outstanding places on the East Coast, but this place pretty much typifies why I'll always lean to the left when it comes to great beer establishments in th U.S.
The atmosphere of this place is drop dead NW. It has a completely laid back, nothing pretentious feel to it. Although the beer here is clearly world class, the atmosphere is unassuming, ho-hum, go with the flow West Coast. The crowd here really says it all. On this particular Monday afternoon there were families, young hipsters, and old farts like myself hanging out, relaxing, and just having a mellow time hanging out with friends and having a good time. As one enters the brewpub one sees off to the left a medium size bar with around 10 bar stools. There are some rickety old tables and chairs, high ceilings, and left over sails adorning the walls. The furnishings are pretty stark and are nothing fancy, giving the brewpub a minimalist, easy going, nothing pretentious vibe.
The quality of the beers here is off the charts. The regular line-up is stellar, with even the blond and amber worth a try. The imperial oatmeal stout is world class, and the seasonals... sigh. The dunkel bock was pretty much the best I've tasted in the U.S., and the Old Bounder barleywine and imperial IPA just fabulous. My test for outstanding DIPA's is that they have to be so hoppy that they wear my ass out, almost causing indigestion because of the excessive hoppiness and richness. The DIPA here more then meets that test.
The service here is the type of service that is so good it's hard to describe. This is a regular's bar, with most of the customers making this place their home away from home. The cute young bartender, at least on the day I was here, treated everyone accordingly. She seemed to know everyone by name, gave everyone a well deserved ration of shit, and then treated them like they were visiting relatives. She was friendly but polite, familiar but considerate.
As for the selection, the day I was here they had some 9 different beers on tap. Everything was pretty outstanding, though of course some things were better then others. The IPA and scotch ale were no better then fair, but pretty much everything else was outstanding.
This is the sort of place I only wish my friends on the East Coast could visit. At least from my experience so far, there is nothing quite like this on the East Coast, as it completely epitomizes the NW experience. There are plenty of fabulous places here on the East Coast, but there is NOTHING like Boundary Bay. This place is an absolute diamond in the rough; a complete gem. What I wouldn't give to have a place like this in Baltimore....
04-08-2008 04:26:01 |
More by johnmichaelsen
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
We spent two consecutive evenings here and stayed just up the street. Friendly service, and when the bartender forgot to bring me my pint of stout it was on the house. The smoked salmon chowder was good, as was the ravioli special, the nachos, and the brats. And that's everything we ate. It gets a mixed crowd of beer travelers and locals.
A non-smoking establishment with great beers on tap, 6 or so regular and 3 seasonals. If you're in the area, you have to go. Try the North Garden Inn for a B&B within 3 blocks.
04-19-2004 00:37:46 |
More by tschmidlin
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
This is my local brewpub and one of my favorite places to drink.
The atmosphere is casual, comfortable and laid back.
The quality is very good, sometimes excellent.
The service can vary with who you get as a server. Some of the best service I've ever had has been at BB, and some of the worst. Not all of the bartenders and servers care about beer and will say whatever you want to hear to get more tips. There are a couple who do care, and if you find Paige, Erin, Ryan or Whitney behind the bar the service and knowledge levels rise.
The selection of beers is very good, with a steady 6-7 regulars and perhaps 15-20 various seasonals throughout the year.
The food is very good and has enough variety to satisfy an entire group.
A must visit when in the Northwest.
11-03-2009 02:31:44 |
More by JTrona11
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Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro in Bellingham, WA