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THE GREEN FROG: Best selection of on-tap brews

James Hardesty pours a Snipes Mountain brew from the tap at the Green Frog Acoustic Cafe on May 7, 2010.
James Hardesty pours a Snipes Mountain brew from the tap at the Green Frog Acoustic Cafe on May 7, 2010. FOR THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Despite being hidden on the outer edge of State Street, The Green Frog Café Acoustic Tavern boasts the best beers in Bellingham. The bar's slogan that advertises only quality beers rings true with the wide variety of microbrews available.

The Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, the Lost Coast Great White and the Elysian Immortal IPA are always on tap at the Frog; but with 23 taps, 20 of which rotate regularly, the Green Frog has something for everyone.

"Chances are there's going to be something I've never heard of," said long-time patron Victor Valadez.

The cafe has a rustic feel, with guitars lining the walls and peanut shells swept to the side on the floor. Long narrow tables with bench seating can allow for intimate conversations between patrons or a chance to get to know your neighbors. More than 130 tap handles border the single room, each a different brew that has been served at least once in the tavern.

"You get beer here that you can't get anywhere else in town," Valadez said.

Owner James Hardesty has owned and run the bar since it opened in November 2005. He travels weekly around the state to bring in fresh brews from all over the Pacific Northwest.

The tavern also has a unique way of encouraging live music: the bartenders will allow customers to take guitars or other instruments down from the walls and play when no band is present. This can allow for the occasional jam sessions or displays of local talent.

Later in the evening the cafe brings in a variety of bands for a live music almost every night.

For an event to see, the tavern hosts a brewer's night every other Wednesday of the month from 6-9 p.m. where regulars can come to meet the brewers behind the beers and win prizes in hourly raffles.

Valadez said The Green Frog serves beer on brewer's night that is not distributed at any other bar in Bellingham.

The rest of the time the bar maintains a comfortable, kick-off-your-boots-and-stay-awhile atmosphere with lively music and welcoming, friendly service.

THE GREEN FROG CAFE ACOUSTIC TAVERN

Hours: Open every day 1 p.m. until close; closing time usually 1:30 - 2 a.m.; Happy Hour: 4 - 6 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Info: 756-1213; 902 N. State St. #104, Bellingham, WA 98225; acoustictavern.com.

Prices: Beer $3 - $8; Tuesdays, all beers $3; Peanuts $2; covers range depending on the night and band.

Owner's tip: James Hardesty said his favorite beer The Green Frog has recently had on tap is the Rauchbier made by Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen.

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