Kulshan Brewing

I was looking to do a short but interesting bike tour back in August 2013, and Bellingham to Seattle turned out to be the winning trifecta: a weekend trip, a visit with my brother, and a few breweries. So on a sunny Friday morning, I put my bike on the train to Bellingham, arriving right on time for lunch with my brother. We eventually meandered over to Kulshan Brewing, where it looked like half the town had decided to leave work early and grab a beer. All the outside tables were full, but we were able to find an open spot inside, and soon we had sampler trays.

WA state sampler at Kulshan

Crafty sampler tray at Kulshan — Bellingham, WA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Double Brother DIPA – 8.1% – Big floral, piney, and citrus hops. Light biscuity malt. A little oily on the tongue, but came off as more of a fresh hop aspect. Quite bitter finish, but blends back in well.
  • Trans Porter – Coffee/chocolate aroma and flavor. Some roasty maltiness, and a touch of honey sweetness. Fairly dry.
  • Haas Hop Ale – Roasty, caramel maltiness, with a touch of banana on the finish. Light and fairly dry. Quite drinkable.
  • Dry Stout – Big coffee/chocolate aroma. Creamy and dry, but with some bitterness. A touch watery, as well. Interesting mix of mouthfeels.
    The Rest

  • Good Ol’ Boy Pale – 4.9% – Light, with a bready start. Touch of honey, then some bitterness on the finish that lingers.
  • Red Cap Red – 5.5% – Smooth. Some caramel sweetness mixed with a little bit of floral hop flavor. Subtle banana/fruity undertones. Bit of lingering bitterness, too.
  • Bastard Kat IPA – 6.66% – Floral aroma. Floral and some citrus hop flavor, with bready maltiness. Bitter finish. Heavy, oily mouthfeel.
  • Midnight Kascadian Dark Ale – 7% – Roasty maltiness with a bit of caramel and some floral hops. Light banana undertone on the finish.
  • Hop Howdy Belgian Blonde – 8% – Some funk, some banana/bubble gum sweetness. Spicy and kind of astringent. Interesting but not my thing.
  • Reisterbräu R.I.S. – 10% – Chocolate/coffee aroma and flavors. Sharp and intense, with alcohol flavor. Sweet finish (molasses?).

After the sample session, we walked back to downtown Bellingham and got dinner and a beer or two at Boundary Bay. Not a bad start to the first day of the tour, even though I was only on the bike for two miles (pretty much all downhill, too). But I was okay with that. Anyway, it’s taken me so long to write up this visit that two new breweries have since opened in Bellingham. So it looks like I’ll be doing another little bike tour soon. Can’t wait!

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