Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen just celebrated its 1st anniversary but Chuckanut Brewery in Bellingham is one in a long line of successful breweries created by Master Brewer Will Kemper and his wife Mari Kemper. Since 1984, they have been creating beer and breweries across America, Mexico and Turkey. Chuckanut Brewery believes that combining the technology and the science of the big breweries with the art of the craft brewer is the very best way to make beer.
This philosophy is entrenched in the background of Will Kemper and his head brewer Josh Pfriem and in the brewing facility. Chuckanut Brewery is a state of the art brewery where Will and Josh can precisely monitor the brewing process and control fermentation to bring their art to life in your glass. The truth of that philosophy is reflected in their quality brews. In their first year of operation, Chuckanut won both a Gold and Silver Award for their lager beers from the North American Beer Awards Competition. The Chuckanut Dunkel won Gold in the Munich Dark category. Chuckanut Strong Bock won Silver in the Traditional Bock category.
In their first year, Chuckanut Brewery has brewed over 30 different ales and lagers. Ingredients are scrutinized and tested to find the finest ingredients with an eye to sustainability. Based on Will Kemper’s reputation and 30 years in the brewing industry, he is able to negotiate the acquisition of finest quality hops and malts around the world. They are dedicated to continue experimenting with organic hops and malts and hope to move towards a complete organic line of beers. Currently they have two organic beers on tap: Organic Golden Ale and Organic Pale Ale.
Chuckanut Brewery values sustainability not only in crafting their beers and in their kitchen, but in their community. Chuckanut Brewery is committed to nurturing a healthy business that sustains and fosters the community within which it resides. This translates to taking care of its employees, the environment and building successful business relationships within the community. One of the best examples of this might be the kitchen, where Chef Chad Bowes works with local growers, ranchers and harvesters to create dishes with a local or international flair.
In the Brewery, the affection for both local and international styles continue. Will Kemper’s experience around the world is well evident in the brews crafted at Chuckanut Brewery. Kolsch is a beer steeped in tradition. Since 1254, the brewer’s guild of Köln, Germany has protected the standards of this ale. This pale ale is delicately crafted and was one of my favorites at Chuckanut Brewery.
Another favorite was the Dunkel. Dunkel means dark in German and often we find these beers to have too much of a coffee taste for our palate. In this Dunkel the kilned malts impart more of a toffee than coffee flavor and the hops provide a great balance, tempering the sweetness of the malt. It has creamy tan head and a great body. This beer really appealed to the senses. It looked good, smelled good, tasted good and even felt good in our mouths!
Unfortunately, they have been out of my favorite Chuckanut beer, the Rauchbier. We first tried it at Naked City during Seattle Beer Week. Will Kemper and Josh Pfriem are not afraid to take the extra time to allow their brews across the breezeway or across the state. The bad news is that I will have to wait a bit longer before the Rausch beer is available but the good news is that I am assured that I will really enjoy it when it is available. Naked City is really good about updating what they on tap with their Twitter account. Follow them if you want to know when Chuckanut beers are on tap there.
Chuckanut presents a variety of events to help the consumer experience their brews in a number of fun, delicious and informative ways.Every Tuesday night is Kolsch night where they share the essence of drinking Kolsch as they do in Köln, Germany. The first Wednesday of the month is Home Brewer’s night. In addition, they offer Brewmaster dinners. The last one was August 3rd. These feasts look delicious and like a lot of fun. We definitely need to figure out a way to make it to the next one. Chuckanut also offers brewery tours and tastings. We did attend one of those in June. The next one is August XX Chuckanut Brewery is also a featured stop on North brewery tours. When will YOU check out Chuckanut Brewery? Tell us what you think!