Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ferndale's Frank-n-Stein

  Hmm. Whatcom County, where I live, has four interesting breweries and I have only posted one visit to start this blog, up at North Fork Brewers in Deming.  I do drop in to the two in Bellingham, both of which won GABF medals in Sept. :), and now and then I drop in at Lloyd Zimmerman's Frank-n-Stein in downtown Ferndale. This is a blue-collar town about seven miles north of Bellingham, with an aluminum plant, an oil refinery, the Hempler meat packing and sausage works, and lots of berry farms just inland.  A PBR and Bud drinking town, you would think, and pretty much the grocery shelves and tavern signs reflect that.
   The brewing goes on a few blocks away and the pub is squeezed into a small retail space that may have held a cozy diner once.  But this is Lloyd's bully pulpit, from which he promotes his ideas for what would make Ferndale a better city. Tops on his agenda is a domed swimming pool--a natatorium? An architect's sketch for this building hangs on the wall, amid a series of really neat photos of World War II aircraft, autographed in some cases by the men who flew them. This is a collection donated by a WWII vet for the natatorium and hanging in the pub waiting for collectors to buy them and augment the pool fund.
  That's not all for collections. Lloyd also collects carved masks, many from Africa and Asia, and a couple dozen of these are hung behind the bar and elsewhere.
  Beer?  Well, they have four taps. I have yet to see more than two pouring their own production. More often just one.  I think they name each batch as the whimsey strikes: time before last, it was called Dark Sinister Ale, and the last time it was so-and-so (I forgot) Porter. They plug some kegs from Boundary Bay, or maybe Chuckanut, into the other taps so that there are choices. 
  Food?  Well, Hempler is the local sausage-maker and they can grill a wide variety of sausages. There is music some evenings, acoustic guitar by Dave, who also tends bar when Lloyd has to be elsewhere. There is no website but the hours seems to be 5 pm to 10 pm Thurs, Fri, Sat.  I recommend it for friendliness.  The first time I stopped in, one of the regulars on a bar stool  said to me, after a bit of chat, "welcome to the Cheers of Ferndale."  Darned if he didn't nail it.
  (Visited several times, May-Oct. 2010)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review! We are open Tuesday-Saturday 5-10pm. As you figured out, we are tiny, so yes, only two taps are ever filled with our beer. One handle rotates, but the other always pours Atwood Brown Porter. Keep up-to-date with the beer selection via our Facebook page!/pages/Ferndale-WA/Frank-n-Stein/141521175879743