Best known for the Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon and beautiful views of the San Juan Islands and the Cascades, Washington’s Skagit Valley has also made a name for itself in the brewing industry. No matter where you are in the valley, there is a brewery for you, now with over a dozen to choose from and many focused on showcasing hyperlocal malts from Skagit Valley Malting and even native yeast strains cultured from the many flower fields.
Whether you want to go to the beaches of Anacortes, spend the day in La Conner or just explore downtown Mount Vernon, there is a brewery for that. As varied as the topography of the region, here are the five breweries we recently checked out in Skagit Valley. For many more, let the Skagit Farm to Pint Ale Trail be your guide.
Bastion Brewing Co.
Nestled right off of Highway 20 in Anacortes, Bastion Brewing Co. is a perfect hole-in-the-wall brewery for anyone looking for a lowkey environment. With a wide selection of beer, you can start out drinking the Skagit Valley Blonde or sample one of the ciders they have on tap. Bring your children for there is an extensive food menu, and additionally, one side of the brewery is animal friendly which provides accessibility for anyone with a support animal. Despite being near the water, Bastion feels as if it is tucked away in the woods with its mellow and rustic decor.
Chuckanut Brewing South Nut
You don’t have to drive all the way to Bellingham to sip Chuckanut Brewing’s beer. Located in Burlington in a red barn, the South Nut location is able to produce 15,000 barrels of beer compared to the 3,000 capacity of the location in Bellingham. Located next to a pond that people frequently fish in, Chuckanut Brewing embodies all the charm of Skagit Valley. On tap are beers like the Skagit Harvest Ale which goes down smoothly with its pear-like hop notes. No food is currently onsite, but customers are encouraged to bring their own food to pair with the beer.
La Conner Brewing Co.
Despite being off the beaten path, La Conner is a town not to skip out on. More than just one exit off the freeway, La Conner and La Conner Brewing Co. are the hidden gems of Skagit Valley. With wood-fired pizza and a warm atmosphere, stop by after a day of exploring the charming town. Check out the silky smooth Nitro Maestro, an oatmeal stout made with vanilla bean that tastes like one part and one part coffee. With an open kitchen, the environment is warm and friendly and not too noisy, in spite for football blaring on the big screen.
North Sound Brewing Co.
Based in the heart of Skagit Valley in Mount Vernon, North Sound Brewing Co. is in close proximity of the Skagit River itself. Coupled with the pretty view, North Sound offers an impressive list of beers like the Goosetown Brown, filled with chocolate and dark Munich malts to give a warm and robust flavor to the beer. With a friendly staff — but adults only allowed in — North Sound offers everything that makes Skagit Valley wonderful: good atmosphere, fun people and great beer.
Garden Path Fermentation
Probably one of the “buzziest” breweries in the valley — both in the eyes of media and of beer geeks — Garden Path Fermentation in Burlington comes from two media-worthy beer geeks themselves. The duo behind the brewery came from Austin’s highly acclaimed Jester King Brewery and offer beers fermented by the house-cultured native yeast in a wide variety of wild and funky beers, plus meads. Try the Easygoing Drink, a lightly tart and hoppy ale keg-conditioned with Skagit-grown blackberry honey.