Skagit Valley has seen enormous growth in its beer scene in recent years. The number of breweries has skyrocketed to 11 and counting, with breweries spread throughout the county offering unique styles. While this bounty is great for beer drinkers, it also presents a challenge – where to start? The following list has a few of the best places to get a beer in Skagit County so you can get started on your journey.
38302 SR 20, Concrete
My favorite place to fuel up after a trip to the North Cascades, Birdsview Brewing, a family-owned brewery, offers an array of brews with creative names like Ditsy Blonde. The female owners comprise a majority, and the brewing team consists of a father-daughter pairing which is exceedingly rare. The beers tend to have a very malty character and high alcohol content – perfect for soothing the sore muscles after a hike. An outdoor beer garden also hosts live music, and the family gives back to the community, in particular the local fire department. For more information, visit the Birdsview Brewing website.
Bastion Brewing Company
12529 Christianson Road, Anacortes
I’m always a sucker for places where I can drink a beer with my dog, and Bastion fits the bill. Located just east of Anacortes, they also have a large selection of house-brewed beers, guest ciders, and food that offers more variety than you might expect from a brew pub. The beer ranges from a variety of IPAs to Belgian and sour beers, with other options along the way. For more information, visit the Bastion Brewing website.
La Conner Brewing Co
117 South First St, La Conner
In a way, La Conner Brewing Co is the twin sister of Skagit River Brewery. Both born in 1995, La Conner Brewing has evolved over the years as a family-owned business. Now with a second-generation brewer, their beer selection has grown and pushed the limits of what they can keep on tap. You’ll find a broad range from pilsner to porter, as well as seasonal rotating taps. The food menu is equally varied, with plenty of seafood as you would expect from a town like La Conner.
Chuckanut Brewery “South Nut”
11937 Higgins Airport Way, Burlington
Chuckanut Brewing has been a staple in Bellingham for over a decade, winning several major national awards for their beers. They recently outgrew their Bellingham location and wanted to be able to brew more as well as have a location closer to Seattle markets. Hence the South Nut, located just north of the Skagit airport. Their specialty is Bavarian style beverages, such as pilsners and lagers. If you think lighter beers can’t have complex flavor, you’ll be blown away by their offerings. For more information, visit the Chuckanut Brewing website.
Garden Path Fermentation
11653 Higgins Airport Way, Burlington
Just down the road from Chuckanut is a wildly unique operation called Garden Path. They harvest ingredients locally, barrel age their brews, and blend them to create one-of-a-kind concoctions. They even use a yeast starter (somewhat like what you would use for sourdough bread) for all of their beers and ciders. The result is beers that reflect the terroir, or flavor of the land, of Skagit. There is also a well-stocked bottle shop with brews from around the world that use similar methods. For more information, visit the Garden Path Fermentation website.
Skagit River Brewing
404 South Third Street, Mount Vernon
No list of places to get beer in Skagit would be complete without Skagit River Brewing. After nearly 25 years in the valley, they’ve become the standard bearer in the county. Located just off the train tracks in downtown Mount Vernon, they’ve honed in on making a brew pub done right. They offer a wide array of beers, but mostly focus on popular ales. The food is well paired, and the wood fired pizza is definitely a highlight. You can even sit out on the patio, which is lovely on a sunny day. For more information, visit the Skagit River Brewing website.
Farmstrong Brewing Co
110 Stewart Road, Mount Vernon
If you go further north in Mount Vernon, you’ll find another option that offers a great selection of beers. Farmstrong Brewing is tucked away near the freeway, just south of the Skagit River. You’ll probably recognize their Cold Beer pilsner, as well as La Raza lager, from cans in grocery stores. But they offer much more in the taproom. Rotating selections include a brown rye ale, and they keep their flagship Valley Gold, made from Skagit Valley grains, flowing. Food selections are limited, but food trucks are sometimes available, and you’re welcome to bring your own goodies. You can also bring along your dog, which earns a point from me. For more information, visit the Farmstrong Brewing website.
For more information, visit the La Conner Brewing Co website.