In the first six months of 2018, Bellingham and Whatcom County breweries have brought home 44 medals from five 2018 beer competitions. Three additional awards bring the total to 47, making the region one of the most highly decorated craft beer destinations in Washington State.
The medal count includes 13 gold and 26 total at the 2018 Washington Beer Awards in June, which evaluated 1,297 beers from 181 breweries. Wander Brewing won six medals (3 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze) at the event and was named 2018 Washington State Large Brewery of the Year. The 2017 Large Brewery title holder, Chuckanut Brewery won six medals at the event (2 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze.) Kulshan Brewing Company won four gold medals and a silver. Aslan Brewing won two gold medals and a bronze. Melvin Brewing Bellingham won a gold and a bronze. Atwood Ales won a gold and received the title Best Washington Malt Beer for its Triticale. The number of gold medals won by Bellingham region breweries at the event tied Seattle for most in the state.
Also in June, Bellingham breweries won 9 medals at the 2018 North American Beer Cup. Chuckanut Brewery won five medals (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze). Kulshan Brewing won one gold. Wander Brewing won a gold and a silver. Boundary Bay Brewery earned its 51st NABA award with a silver.
An additional 4 medals came home to Bellingham from the 2018 World Beer Cup in May, which is considered the “most prestigious beer competition in the world.” More than 8,000 beers were judged from 2,600 breweries worldwide. Chuckanut Brewery won two gold at the event. Aslan Brewing also won a gold, and Boundary Bay won bronze.
Rounding out the medal count, Kulshan Brewing won four medals at the 2018 Best of Craft Beer Awards in January. Atwood Ales Farm Brewery won bronze for its Brett Saison Beer, Triticale, at the 2018 New York International Beer Competition in February, and Atwood Ales received a 2018 Good Food Award for its rhubarb sour ale, Rhuty.
The secret to all this success is the sense of community and collaborative environment between Bellingham’s breweries. “We’ve got a really close-knit group of brewers that communicate with one another, and that share information,” explains Kulshan Brewing owner Dave Vitt in the new Bellingham Beer Culture video.
For more information about the Bellingham’s craft breweries see https://www.bellingham.org/eat/beer/. With a population of 85,000, Bellingham is located in the upper northwest corner of Washington State near the Canadian border. The Bellingham region is widely known as an outdoor adventure and recreation haven for its proximity to Mount Baker and the Salish Sea.