Find The Beer
Most of Wander Brewing’s beers are draft-only, available in the brewery tasting room and at select accounts in Washington State. Beers in the Wander Barrel Project are bottled in very small batches, and every couple of months the brewery cans a small batch of beer via mobile canning for tasting room– only releases. of cider-like,” says Chad. “They attenuated out highly to yield this dry, cider-forward Brett-y-ness, so we said, “Okay, now we’ll go and build a 20-barrel coolship and see if anything happens.”
Wander’s first coolship beers are currently maturing in barrels, and could be for a couple years. “We’re just being patient,” Chad says.
Patience is a big part of Wander’s business model, Colleen says. “We’re taking risks on beers that might not pay off financially but make us creatively happy. Our biggest focus isn’t making money or growing as large as possible—it’s beer. We’re focused on the beer styles.”
Not to mention Wander is tapped out at just over 2,000 barrels in annual production, Chad jokes. “And we are as big as we want to be right now. For us, growth looks like growing up with our community, strengthening our relationships with employees, and constantly improving our quality. Sometimes I see the massive growth in the craft-beer industry, and I wonder how breweries can focus on growth outside of volume because they keep expanding and moving. We just built this space out 3 years ago. We’re happy where we are.”
Wander’s building is truly enchanting—a historic ship-building warehouse with lots of natural light, tall ceilings, and bright turquoise walls. On clear days, the doors are open to a comfortable outside patio, and fresh smells of earth and salt waft into the tasting room. “You can smell the ocean around here,” says Chad. “You can smell the mountains; you can smell the trees.”
During the springtime, the temperature and climate in Bellingham are perfect for cooling wort in the coolship, Chad says. “This is a very outdoorsy town, and people here have a strong sense of place and the environment. I want to make beer that tastes like Bellingham.”