Located on the edge of Bellingham's historic Old Town district, with views of Bellingham Bay and the Old Courthouse, Chuckanut Brewery started in July of 2008. Husband and wife, Will and Mari Kemper opened Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen in Bellingham, after starting international breweries in Mexico and Turkey in the late 1990's and early 2000's. If the name Kemper seems familiar, it's probably because you've sipped on a Thomas Kemper root beer or cream soda—the family has been a brewing fixture in the northwest microbrewing scene since the mid 1980's.
Will Kemper not only comes from a brewing family, he's also perhaps one of the most educated brewers in the area. Kemper has a BS is Chemical Engineering degree, and is a graduate of the first Masterbrewers Program from the University of California at Davis. He also studied in London at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Not only are Chuckanut's beers scientifically astute, they maintain the traditions of British and Belgian Beer styles.
In the Pacific Northwest, we love our ales—robust, hopped—so Chuckanut went a different route by focusing on brewing traditional lagers. And they were rewarded: Chuckanut has earned many awards for their beers and brewpub, picking up National Small Brewpub of the year and gold medals for a number of their individual beers at the Great American Beer Festival. Give the Vienna Lager, or the darker Dunkel Lager a try. Chuckanut brews up some great ales as well including their Kolsch, and Baltic Porter.
Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen practices sustainability, including a computerized brewing system which reduces water and power use. Spent grain is also sent to local farmers, increasing the amount of product recycled by the brewery. These practices transition into the kitchen at the brewpub, especially on the “Locavore” menu which features dishes prepared with local ingredients and changes each month. The taproom is industrial chic, with warm yellow walls, and local artwork featured on the walls. In the summer, tables in the taproom are decked out with wildflowers, and canoes and snowshoes hang from the ceiling. Check out this brewery during HoPPY hour from 4-6 pm Sunday through Thursday.
Check out the following hikes near Chuckanut Brewery: