The Pint is Mightier: Chuckanut Brewing Co.

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

After night one at Boundary Bay, we traipsed over to the other side of Bellingham to check out the city’s other major brewery…

Chuckanut Brewing Co.

Often overshadowed by Boundary Bay, Chuckanut Brewing Co. is the spot of some splendid brews. Unlike most breweries in the region that specialize in the Northwest styles we know and love, they stocked a wide variety of German inspired and styled beers. We settled into a booth

The first beer we tried was their Alt. It poured a small head and was not cloudy at all. It had a pleasantly zesty hop aroma, not as strong as an IPA but more akin to what one might expect from a pale ale. The beer itself had a classic German filtered taste and a crisp finish. The hop notes were evident, but not overpowering, while the bitterness lingered ever so slightly on the tongue. We found this beer to be light-bodied but rather refreshing with its somewhat carbonated mouthfeel. Overall it was a pleasant German-style beer with a bit of a Northwest Hop twist.

We took a shot at the Smoke Porter after that. Now introducing smoke flavor to a beer is a tricky thing to do. Much like adding fruit or other flavor additives, it’s very easy to go too far, overwhelming and ruining the original profile of the beer. Smoke, in particular, is very powerful. But Chuckanut got it right with this porter. The smoke flavor was subtle and seamlessly woven into the roasty profile of the beer. It carries through in the scent and in the aftertaste, but never too strongly. In profile, this porter was quite dark with a light white head. We found this to be an exceptionally well-craft and well-balanced beer.

Next up was the Chuckanut Pilsner. What Chuckanut lacked in creative naming it more than made up for in crafting very drinkable beers, in styles we don’t enjoy no less. This pilsner is one of the best we’ve had in our illustrious drinking careers. It poured a small head and had no opacity. The color was golden, while the taste had just a hint of a bite at the end. The beer was straightforward and simple, which are not necessarily bad things and served this style particularly well. The Pilsner had a very crisp, clean finish and was quite refreshing – definitely a reason to check out this brewery.

The final stop on our tour de Chuckanut was their IPA. It poured uncharacteristically for an IPA, with a reddish amber hue and no hop aroma. Despite lacking any strong smell, the flavor profile was hop-heavy with a decidedly earthy and floral lean. The malt influence was very minimal, although hints of rye peaked through into the flavor palette. As you transition to the aftertaste, the flavors peel away leaving just faint floral notes. We thought the IPA was solid, but nothing exceptional.

If you’re looking for a little break from traditional Pacific Northwest brews, then Chuckanut is a great place to stop by. Their German-influenced beers are quite a pleasant, and the pub friendly and inviting. It may not have the same reputation as Boundary Bay, but its worth swinging by if you’re in the area.

2 Comments to “The Pint is Mightier: Chuckanut Brewing Co.”

  1. My older sister is a server there!

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