A local version of Melvin beer will be flowing on Thursday as the company kicks off the start of its brewing facility.
At 11 a.m. Melvin Brewing will introduce four beers for Bellingham: Peach Innit, a white peach pale ale; A Block Away brown ale; MBR, Melvin’s own blue ribbon special; and Melvingham IPA, which is described by general manager David Powers as a very hoppy, but balanced IPA that features locally grown hops. On Thursday the new brews will sell for $3 a glass; after Thursday the price increases to $5.
The new beers are the first to come through the equipment that was installed this fall. Melvin first opened in June at 2416 Meridian St. as a tap room/restaurant, serving local brews as well as Melvin beer from its Wyoming facility. Along with 20 beers on tap, the brewery has a lunch and dinner menu.
The brewery portion of the facility was delayed six months because the company wanted to get the right equipment to fit in a small space, which also meant a lot of paperwork, Powers said. Once Melvin got the equipment and approvals, the installation was completed in a matter of weeks.
Even without the brewing facility, the Bellingham Melvin got off to a fast start, with lines at times during the first couple months. Powers said Melvin knew it had a bit of a cult following in Bellingham – which was a factor in opening here. At the same time Melvin also wants to support the growing craft brewing industry, which is why it regularly features local brews in its taps.
Bellingham is starting to have a beer scene that is similar to Bend, Oregon, which is known for its craft beer, Powers said. For some reason craft beer has bonded well with the outdoor sports culture, which is something both communities share, he added. As a tip of the hat to the outdoor scene, on Sundays people will get $5 off their tab if they show a Sunday ski lift ticket from Mt. Baker Ski Area.
Since the opening in June, Melvin has drawn most of its customers from the nearby neighborhoods, Powers said. Melvin also gets a fair amount of visitors from Seattle and Canada.
Melvin has more in store for Bellingham in the coming months. Plans are in the works to open a small taproom in either the downtown or Fairhaven area by next spring. Brewmaster David “Flash” Meadows will be rolling out a variety of other beers, including a Gotlandsdricka style beer that has its origins in Sweden, a place where he brewed beer for 30 years.