Spectacular Seafood

Salmon and shrimp and crab, oh my! February features some of the restaurants and eateries in Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan where you can find the best fresh, local seafood.

Holiday Travel Beer Guide

Nationally-ranked beer judge, Neal Tognazzini, is here to help you prep your holiday wish list—for beer that is—with his guide to the best beers in the U.S.


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Bellingham Rock Star Opens Herb’s Cider

How Bellingham rock star, Tim “Herb” Alexander—the celebrated drummer for the alt-rock band Primus—came to co-own Herb’s Cider with his wife, Shama.


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Wine Judging Requires Sniffing, Swirling, and Tasting Your Way Through a Lot of Wine

Wine enthusiast Dan Radil shares the importance of tasting, not drinking, when wine judging—sniffing, swirling, and sipping your way to the best wine.


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The Mixing Tin

For this month’s Mixing Tin we indulged in the Hogwarts House Cocktails offered at Rook & Rogue Board Game Pub—Which house are you?


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Stemma Brewing Co. Joins Our Beer Family

Stemma Brewing Company, owned by Jason and Kim Harper, has officially joined the Bellingham brewery scene—opening a taproom at 2039 Moore Street in June.


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The Mixing Tin

This month’s Mixing Tin is the Bramble from Swim Club Wet Bar—a rich, spiced cocktail to defend against the early fall chill.


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Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris

Wine enthusiast Dan Radil talks tasty white wines for the warmer summer months, with a wide range of flavors, styles, and sweetness levels.


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The Mixing Tin

This month’s Mixing Tin is the Summertime Blue from Fireside Martini & Wine Bar—a refresher that changes from sapphire blue to fuchsia in seconds.


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The Mixing Tin

This month’s Mixing Tin is the Salish Sea Daiquiri from Saltine—a fruity twist on the original Cuban cocktail recipe.


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Grain to Glass in Skagit County

Farmstrong Brewing Co. in Mount Vernon is making use of local grain—All of their beers contain some percentage of barley that was grown and malted locally.


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Polarizing and Popular

Wine enthusiast Dan Radil gives readers the inside scoop on Pinot Noir: common perceptions, best practices, and some budget-friendly recommendations.


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The Mixing Tin

This month’s Mixing Tin is Strawberry Fizz from Valley Shine Distillery. The perfect cocktail to leave winter behind and get in that summertime mood.


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IPAS, Hazy and Otherwise

Why are IPAS so popular? Nationally-ranked beer judge, Neal Tognazzini, tells all about the history and variety behind brewing IPAS.


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The Mixing Tin

This month’s Mixing Tin is El Beso de Virginia from Northwater. This tequila-based drink is not a margarita, but a delicious way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.


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Woodinville Wine Country Matures

Woodinville Wine Country is being put on the map as a true destination location. Wine lovers will find a large selection of wineries and restaurants to try.


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Mixing Tin

This month’s Mixing Tin features The Temple Vesper from The Temple Bar in Bellingham. Try pairing this cocktail with the “Everything Plate.”


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For Valentine’s Day, Try Something Crisp, Pink or Bubbly

Dan Radil brings you a guide to non-traditional drinks to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day. Try something bubbly, pink, or cool and crisp for a change.


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The Mixing Tin

This month’s Mixing Tin features True Love by Pink, an exotic cocktail using lychee made by Studio B. The perfect romantic drink for Valentine’s Day.


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Dark Beers for Dark Days

Neal Tognazzini reminds us not to forget about dark beers during these long, dark winter months. Selections from Wander Brewing Co. are among the favorites.


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At Home on Whidbey Island

These two wine bars on Whidbey Island are ideal for tasting: The Terrace Wine Bar and Bistro in Oak Harbor and Vail Wine Shop & Tasting Room in Coupeville.


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For Thanksgiving, ‘Tis the Saison

How are you going to wash your traditional starch-and-fat lover’s delight of a meal down this Thanksgiving? The answer: Saison.


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The Mixing Tin

Cocktail consultant Mike Rothmeyer has developed three versions of the classic Mai Tai for The Union Tavern in Anacortes.


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Looking to Bounce Back

Dan Radil gives an inside look into the current downturn of Whatcom County Wineries and which wineries were distinguished at the Northwest Wine Festival.


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In Wine Versus Beer Debate, Wine Has Summertime Edge

Both beer and wine have a wide variety of flavors perfect for the season. Summer is the ideal time for a cold beer, flavorful white, or bold red.


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Finding Sunshine in a (Beer) Can | Sip

Only the most radical (and misguided) beer snob would insist on a glass for every beer-drinking occasion. Smart drinking requires an appreciation of context.


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Mixing Tin

Maple and brown sugar? These flavors were made for each other, we all know that. But if you thought they existed only in your morning oatmeal, think again.


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Tri-Cities and Prosser Areas: A Haven for Washington Wine Lovers

Western Washington wine lovers in search of a wine-related getaway should look no further than the eastern side of the state. The Tri-Cities and Prosser areas boast plentiful sunshine, a dry climate year-round, and scores of wineries that feature some of the best food and wine the state has to offer….


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Red Rum Tiki Bar | Mixing Tin

Heeeere’s Johnny! (With Your Cocktail) Are you ready to be transported to an island oasis? Take one step into Red Rum, the new tiki bar in downtown Bellingham, and you’re greeted with bamboo huts, tiki torches, and no visible windows hinting at what the outside world holds. You can’t tell day…


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Bellingham’s Drinking Scene Grows Up

Most of the watering holes in Bellingham glow with youthful exuberance and do-it-yourself charm. This is one of the things I love about…


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The Mixing Tin – The Five Joaquins

This drink was named after the tale of the Five Joaquins. The Five Joaquins were, well, five guys named Joaquin. Between 1850 and 1853 it…


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The Mixing Tin – The Brandied Cherry Collins

When you walk into The Blue Abode Bar in Barkley Village, it feels like you are home —even though it’s new to the neighborhood. A cozy spot for cocktails, it has a wood bar, tables are accented with blue paint, and chairs and blue lights line the walls. On each table, empty spirit bottles with twinkle lights on the inside…


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Marking the End of the (Traditional) Brewing Season

From Spring, Lager Awaits Its Day The older I get, the more I appreciate the seasons. Our lives are always emerging from somewhere, always headed somewhere. We always have something to…


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The Mixing Tin: Pina Mas Macho

Redlight- Pina Mas Macho If you’re looking for a tropical treat to steal you away from the cold Bellingham weather, look no further than the Pina Mas Macho drink from the Redlight bar. Rum, infused with guava to give it a sweet exotic, flavor and basil to freshen it. With an ounce of pineapple juice and a splash of…


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Mixing Tin

EAT Restaurant and Bar The Mon Dieu (My god) Ingredients: Captain Morgan’s rum, maple, lime, topped with BelleWood Acres Cider, $11 Tucked on…


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Walla Walla Wines Become a Growth Industry

The explosion of wineries in the Walla Walla Valley mirrors the impressive growth of wineries in Washington state. How impressive? Consider this: According to the Washington Wine Commission, there were 163 wineries statewide in the year 2000. Today the state boasts…


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The Vault Wine Bar

Bank on Blaine’s Rich New Wine Bar The Vault Wine Bar, in Blaine, is a restaurant in a unique venue: a former bank building. Teller cages and desks have been replaced with a sleek marble bar top and custom made tables. One wouldn’t exaggerate to say that no expense was spared to create this chic urban bistro. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow ample natural light and an enclosed deck invites diners to enjoy their visit…


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The Mixing Tin: The Black Cat

Sangria in the Rain INGREDIENTS Clear Creek Pear Brandy, Rene Barbier Catalunya Red Blend, lime, orange, pineapple, Sierra Mist, $8 Perhaps the most appealing part of choosing The Black Cat (or Le Chat Noir if you’re feeling French) for an after work drink or two is the view from upstairs. Set of the second floor of the historic Sycamore Square building in Fairhaven, The Black Car provides…


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West Coast Dominates Domestic Scene

What would happen to the wine industry in the United States if, by some crazy chance, Washington, Oregon, and California were hit by a devastating plague that wiped out every vineyard in the three-state area? Would it be…


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The Mixing Tin

Mambo Italiano Mambo Rosemary Margarita Mambo Italiano’s bar sits above the regular dining seating in the front of the café. Up the stairs…


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Reds for BBQ

Have you been ignoring red wines altogether during the summer months? Then it’s time to reconsider. Yes, a chilled white wine or rosé makes a…


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The Mixing Tin: The Temple Bar

The Illuminati INGREDIENTS: Jameson, Elderflower liqueur, Drambuie, Genepy des Alpes, Angostura bitters, orange flower water, lemon peel garnish. Served on ice. $11 This month’s…


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Once Maligned, Rosés Are Here to Stay

As little as 20 years ago, rosé wines from Washington wineries were, more often than not, likely to be a novelty instead of a tasting room standard. But since that time, rosés have really caught on, almost to the point that they’ve practically become fashionable among Washington winemakers and consumers alike. Can rosés continue to grow in popularity and shake off the stigma of their decades-old, cloyingly sweet predecessors? That remains to be seen. But for…


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Spring Bouquet

Celebrate fickle season with a versatile wine menu There’s an old saying around the Pacific Northwest this time of year: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.” April is one of those crazy, capricious months where the calendar says spring, but the weather doesn’t always agree. Hail, windstorms, the possibility of frost, and of course, plenty of rain can overrun any chance of sunshine that’s trying to warm us…


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Sips of the Season

Cosmos Bistro and Portteus Winery On March 4, a sold-out crowd at Cosmos Bistro experienced a range of wines from Portteus Winery, paired with out-of-this-world small plates created by Cosmos owner Cinnamon Berg, during Bellingham Alive magazine’s Spring Sips of the Season. Dan “The Wine Guy” Radil explained to attendees why certain wine pairings are successful, what to do if you’ve made…


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Wine Festivals Set for State, Vancouver

One of the many great things about living in Bellingham and the Whatcom County area is the “small-town feel” the region carries despite its close proximity to two major metropolitan areas. With Vancouver, B.C. to the…


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Sipping Local Spirits: Valley Shine Distillery

During Prohibition, Ben Lazowski’s grandfather worked as a bootlegger for infamous gangster Al Capone. Young Ben grew up hearing stories of his grandfather’s adventures (with certainly a few misadventures) and exploring secret passageways in this grandfather’s Chicago home. It’s ironic that years of alcohol prohibition could spark a fascination with the stuff decades later. Ben teamed up with his wife Stacey to begin distilling as a hobby in 2010. The couple spent two- and-half years developing the product…


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Treveri Cellars

Like a fine bottle of sparkling wine, Treveri Cellars, located just east of Yakima, has burst onto the Washington wine scene with style, character, and an understated air of elegance that have made it a Champagne-inspired favorite of many area wine enthusiasts who enjoy bubbles in…


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Budget Wines

With the holidays a distant memory in the rearview mirror, it’s time to focus on a new year, new beginnings, and,…


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Thanksgiving and Harvest Wines

The fall and harvest season is upon us, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and big, indoor feasts will soon be the order of the day. Trying to pull off a near-flawless menu, especially while coping with family and out-of-town guests, can be a thankless task. So you might be happy to know that choosing wines to serve with traditional autumn foods is a relatively easy, practically…


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The Mixing Tin – Epulo Bistro’s Apple Pie

Ingredients: Dry County Small Batch Apple Pie Liquor, Fresh Lemon and Orange Juice, Maple Syrup, All Spice | $10   This time of year it’s hard to resist the enticements of Edmonds’ Epulo Bistro on a cold, wet evening. Bright warmth radiates from the bistro’s windows, drawing in passersby in hooded jackets, shoulders hunched against the wind and rain. Should you decide…


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The Mixing Tin – The Redlight’s Elk Street

This beautiful bar with dark wood tones and exposed brick is the perfect place to cozy up with a friend and a perfectly balanced cocktail and enjoy the State Street life passing outside the large, antique windows. Gallery-appropriate artwork and a casual-yet-distinctive atmosphere make Redlight special. Chic enough to be at home in Paris or Berlin— and yet so essentially…


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The Mixing Tin – Beardslee Public House’s The Abyss

Beardslee Public House’s The Abyss Ingredients: Läka Gin, maraschino, lemon juice, créme de violette, soda | $11 In December 2015, Distiller and Sommelier Erik Liedholm and Chef John Howie opened Wildwood Spirits Co. adjacent to the Beardslee Public House, which they co-own. You can find Wildwood’s craft spirits served at the brewpub and starring in specialty…


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The Mixing Tin

The Loft at Latitude Forty-Eight Five’s Strawberry Gin Fizz Ingredients: Gin, strawberry puree, soda water, lemon juice | $6 A sunny summer afternoon calls for two things: a seat with a view and a cold drink. The Loft at latitude Forty Eight Five delivers on both accounts. With indoor seating encompassed with large windows and a wrap around deck…


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Wines for Grilling Out

Remember the “good old days” of outdoor barbequing? Assemble a stack of charcoal briquettes in the grill, saturate them with lighter fluid, set it aflame, and, more often than not, burn the food to a crisp. Then serve with your favorite six-pack of domestic beer and Kool-Aid for the kids. Today’s barbequing and outdoor grilling routine is often a major undertaking with glistening, stainless-steel, multi-burner propane and ceramic…


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Adventurous Brewing

On a perfect Fairhaven Saturday, a group of cyclists walked into Stones Throw Brewery. It was only noon, but the taproom was abuzz with activity. Owner Tony Luciano reached above the bar to pull a handle, TOOOOT TOOOT! The cyclists cheered at the sound, an old train whistle that someone gave Luciano. A passion for beer and outdoor fun inspired owners and WWU alumni Tony Luciano and Jack…


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The Mixing Tin

Bluewater Organic Distilling’s The Salish Sea Ingredients: Bluewater Vodka, housemade elderflower, lime juice, simple syrup, cardamom bitters, basil leaf | $11 Bluewater Organic Distilling’s tasting room and cocktail bar offers refreshing libations to both seafaring adventurers and landlubbers. It is a prime spot to observe the hustle and bustle at the Port of Everett Marina — the largest public marina on the West Coast. You’ll find lots of sun and…


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DiSaronno Sour

next time your work week gets the best of you, head to the Lighthouse and try the DiSarrono Sour.


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Red Wine Body Styles

You see it all the time when sifting through the wine section in search of the perfect bottle to serve with tonight’s meal: “body style.” But what does it mean?


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The Mixing Tin – The Hollywood Tavern’s Woodin Sidecar

The Woodin Sidecar served up at The Hollywood Tavern — an historic tavern adjacent to Woodinville Whiskey Co.’s production facility and tasting room — is a fantastic cocktail to sip this winter.


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The Hollywood Tavern

Located in Woodinville’s Hollywood District on a curved stretch of road in view of the iconic, tree-lined driveway to Chateau Ste. Michelle’s estate and across the street from the geometric concrete and slatted-wood walls of Novelty Hill – Januik Winery’s…


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Sips of the Season featuring Signature Cocktails by Keenan’s at the Pier

 Keenan ’s at the Pier and The Chrysalis Inn hosted the inaugural Bellingham Alive Sips of the Season event on the restaurant’s open air…


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Remarkable Vartanyan Winery

Siberia is, by extremes, a far cry from Whatcom County. It’s a chin-scratcher that a Siberian winemaker by way of Armenia would settle down in this part of the world. Margarita Vartanyan’s story emerges from revolution, international strife, oppression and liberty. In November 1920, the Republic of Armenia was abolished and, under Dictator Joseph Stalin, became the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia. Margarita’s relatives were exiled to Siberia where the family would remain…


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The Beauty of Bergevin

Riddled with many wonderful wineries, Walla Walla is one of those places where one couldn’t swing a cat without hitting an award-winning wine maker. Annette Bergevin, co-owner of Bergevin Lane Vineyards, is one of those winemakers.


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Chuckanut Bay Distillery

Chuckanut Bay Distillery owners Matt Howell and Kelly Andrews aim to make the highest quality spirits using as many regional ingredients as possible. So far, the pair have created a gluten-free potato vodka and a wheat vodka. Soon, their gin and coffee liqueur will hit the shelves of stores…


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Bertelsen Winery

Regular I-5 commuters through Mount Vernon have likely seen the “Winery Coming Soon” sign along the northbound highway. It was an attention grabber for years, promising the imminent arrival of a winery that was curiously slow to open. First the vineyards were planted, then the tasting room and winemaking facility erected. Then suddenly the sign changed to,…


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Samson Estates Winery- Samson and Delilah

Samson Estates  is nestled among the berry farms and pastures of rural Whatcom County, with the Mount Baker foothills in the distance. The tasting room staff is very friendly, and Samson’s wines are definitely worth the drive. As with most local vineyards, they source for their veritals (the Samson line) from Yakima and Columbia Valley. The Seven Horse Hills Merlot and Seven Horse Hills Syrah are stand-outs. They also produce a lovely dry Riesling and a nicely balanced…


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Five Faves: Washington Rosé Wines

1. Syncline | $19 The winemaker’s tasting notes describe the 2011 Syncline rosé: “Our creation of this wine is in direct response to our love of crisp, dry Rosé. The color is a striking pale rose with aromas of strawberry, stone fruit and melon. Each grape lends unique attributes to…


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Snohomish Wine Journey

Washington Wine Country—it’s a descriptor that has become as much a part of our state as apples, evergreens and rain. Although we might not have joined the ranks of Napa yet, we’ve certainly earned some recognition. With many wineries, small and large, growing in popularity and earning awards—and areas that have capitalized on tourism that’s centered around tastings— wine has added a wonderful…


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Compass Wines

A mecca for hard-to-find Washington wines! The Shop Compass Wines opened its door 11 years ago on Commercial Avenue in Anacortes. The owners have about 16,000 bottles of wine in stock and constantly taste wines to find others they would like to carry. If the shop doesn’t have a particular wine a customer is looking for, they can get it, owner Will Parks says, but in most cases, Compass has the wine…


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Lullaby Winery

Virginie Bourgue completed her migration to Port Townsend, Washington in 2010. In June of this year, she celebrated the opening of Lullaby Winery tasting room. This seaside community reminded her of her old…


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Working the Gate: Kate Gerwin and Russell Davis take Poppe’s 360 pro

The team at Poppe’s 360 have always been known for their extensive martini list, making Poppe’s a favorite among area cocktailistas. But what had been a reliable bar before is now becoming craft cocktail central…


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Apples & Oranges- Pairing Wine, Beer & Spirits

Ten strangers met on a warm summer evening in Bellingham, WA for a night of wine, beer and cocktail pairings at The Real McCoy, which is owned and operated by in-house mixologist, Brandon Wickland. Oh sure, it would have been easier for one person to write all the comparisons, organize all the details and…


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The Cork, The Tap & The Cask- A guide to drinking locally

1. North Fork Brewery 6186 Mt. Baker Highway, Deming northforkbrewery.com The home of the Beer Shrine, North Fork was established in 1997 by Sandy and Vicki Savage. Sandy is the former head brewer at Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley, CA. He brews in very small batches, so…


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San Juan Vineyards

Established in 1996, San Juan Vineyards is a Puget Sound American Viticultural Area winery destination for locals and tourists alike. The wine room, a renovated schoolhouse that was built in 1896, is an easy 10-minute drive from downtown Friday Harbor. The pastoral setting makes this winery a popular destination for oenophiles, tourists, weekend adventurers and party planners alike. San Juan…


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Honeymoon

Mead, also known as honey wine, is said to have been the first alcoholic beverage, coming before both wine and beer. Originating in Northern China and Dating back to 7000 BC, this beverage has been part of cultures all over the world. Many say mead was the nectar of the gods on Mount…


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Toast the Winemakers

Meet the men and women behind the craft of wine making at six Washington wineries…


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