A Stop on the Skagit Farm to Pint Ale Trail with Contributing Travel Writer Lara Dunning.
I’m enjoying a cold Irish Red at Bastion Brewing Company. Above me is a black and white photo of hops being harvested on March Point. Something I didn’t even know grew in the valley at one time. Bastion as the locals call it, opened last fall and was recently voted the Best New Business in Skagit Valley. It is also one of ten breweries on the Skagit Farm to Pint Ale Trail.
Their unique brewing style focuses on top shelf ingredients, including malts from Skagit Valley Malts, meticulous cleaning procedures, and an intense passion to make the best beer they can.
“We want you to taste all the ingredients in the beer,” said Joe Behan, owner of Bastion Brewing Company. “We put extra attention into the process, so the flavors are clean and balanced.” Currently, 90 % of their beers feature malts from Skagit Valley Malts. “The quality, variety and access to these malts have given us the ability to create great beers of all different styles and earn the respect of our growing customer base.”
Growing it is. You’ll see beer lovers enjoying a pint and a bite to eat in their taproom every day of the week. One of the highlights of the taproom design is its open view of the brewery as well as its casual appeal with earthy tones and wood elements like a wall made from a reclaimed barn in Ohio. And, if you have kids, bring them along, for its all family-friendly.
“We designed taproom and brewery to have an open feel,” said Behan, “so customers have access to the brewers and the brewing process.”
Not only does their beer get special attention, the pub fare does too, and includes hand-formed burgers, hand cut fries, house made sauces and dressings, and locally sourced ingredients. But, there is a twist to ordering. Instead of ordering with a server at your table, you order from the food counter. Beer is also ordered from the taproom bar. If you like tunes with your tall, cold one, they feature live music every Saturday, and have happy hour specials throughout the week, as well as “Kill the Keg,” Trivia and $2 tacos nights.
During my visit, friends join me for dinner and we order a taster tray and a round of pints. We also dine on a mixture of menu items like the green salad, boneless chicken wings with buffalo sauce, build your own burgers, chili cheese fries, and onion rings. From start to finish, everything is fresh and good. At the end of the night, we all agree Bastion is a great addition to the Skagit Valley.
Locals Tip: Bastion Brewery is host to regularly scheduled indoor and outdoor music performances and festivals by some of the regions top bands and musicians, weekly trivia nights, and karaoke.
Want Your Own Skagit Farm to Pint Experience?
Pick up a Skagit Farm to Pint Passport at visitor information centers in Anacortes, La Conner, Burlington, Mount Vernon, Sedro-Woolley or Concrete. Or, at any of the breweries on the ale trail, which include Bastion Brewing Company, La Conner Brewing Co., Chuckanut Brewery (South Nut), Anacortes Brewery, Flyers Restaurant and Brewhouse, Cardinal Craft Brewing Academy, North Sound Brewing Co., Skagit River Brewery, Farmstrong Brewing Company, and Birdsview Brewing. Then cruise from brewery to brewery and get your passport stamped. You can buy a beer or not, they’ll stamp your passport either way. When you earn your 10th stamp, you’ll receive a complimentary pint glass.
Meet Contributing Writer: Lara Dunning
Lara Dunning has a serious passion for small towns, history, food and light adventure. She has over 100 published travel articles, and on Small Town Washington & Beyond she shares her stories about small town traveling.