The Pint is Mightier: Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

Ground zero for four of the eight years of our misguided youth (aka college), our next review comes from the great white north of Bellingham, WA.

Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro

Located in downtown Bellingham, Boundary Bay is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Anyone on the street could have told us that what an amazing brewery it was, but asking other people isn’t how we roll. For us, tasting is believing.

First up was the Belgian Trippel. It poured an amber color into a tulip glass with zero head. It possesed a yeasty Belgian aroma with fruity undertones; a definite precursor to the flavor of this beer. The Trippel had many sweet esters and a very fruity taste, while faintest hint of hoppiness lingered on the end of your tongue long after the sip had been taken. It held an interesting combination of hops and malts that emulated a very good old-world Belgian flavor. It was very drinkable and had a good deal of complexity, which became apparent as honey flavors emerged halfway through the pint. In the end we felt the hoppiness clashed mildly with the other flavors in the aftertaste, but overall it was good, complex, and original Belgian style ale.

The Imperial Oatmeal Stout was next on our list. It had a very dark profile, maintaining its opacity even as a thin spindle being poured.  The pint was lightly carbonated with no head and little aroma. The flavor opened robustly, with a strong, dark roastiness that was also vaguely sweet. Despite a strong first impression, the stout unfortunately never moved beyond that single note. The aftertaste lingered, but never developed any additional flavors. Ultimately the lack of complexity in this beer made it rather boring as time went on. The rest of Boundary Bay’s lineup was much stronger; we recommend sticking to their many other great beers.

Speaking of great beers, next in line was Boundary’s Winter style ale: the Cabin Fever. It was dark and completely opaque in color with a surprisingly mild aroma. Upon the first taste we noticed the excellent balance of roastiness and hoppiness, a rare. Winter seasonals from this region usually either play heavily on the hops or heavily on the roast. Although both were strong in this particular brew, they were also wel balanced, setting it apart from others in its class. Overall a delicious beer this is one of the best winter seasonals we have had in our travels.

We rounded out our evening with the Boundary Bay IPA, a mighty good night to be sure. As with all our beers this evening, this pint had no head and has just a bit of carbonation. It was darker than most other IPAs with a amber hue, though the malts were relatively mild. This IPA had a great hop profile that was well balanced between bitter, fruity and floral notes. The lingering aftertaste was leaned more towards the bitter hop flavor, but in an entirely pleasant fashion. Overall this beer was a great medium-bodied, well balanced IPA worth trying whether you’re a hop-head or a hop-hesitant.

Excellent beer, tasty food and cozy atmosphere make Boundary Bay a must-visit for any beer aficionado.

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