Editor’s note: In a previous version of this story, Phil Carvalho’s name was misspelled.
On an island known for its individuality and self-resilience, comes a bar with a focus on a beer that embodies the same uniqueness.
The taproom, with the tentative name of Cease and Desist: A Friday Harbor Beer House, sits on the lower level of the Spring Street Landing building at the marina in Friday Harbor. The bar had a “soft opening” on Thursday, July 26, with a grand opening ceremony scheduled for late August.
The establishment, said co-owner Justin Heikkinen, will spotlight craft beer, which is known for its small-batches, independent owners and non-traditional flavors.
“The focus is on craft beer because we’re both beer nerds,” he said.
He and fellow owner Phil Carvalho met through the craft beer scene in Portland, where Carvalho helped launch two beer bars — Hoplandia and Bridgetown Beerhouse.
“I started cellaring beer in 96, before it was cool,” said Carvalho about aging beer. “Beer is a giant passion for both of us.”
It was Heikkinen who spotted the Friday Harbor location when mooring his boat at the marina on one of his regular visits.
“We could open a beer bar in any town and do well, or come into kind of a dream spot like this and do the same thing,” said Heikkinen.
The bar will be open year-round, with the tentative hours of noon to midnight, every day, through the summer, and 2 p.m. to midnight, five days a week, through the winter.
Flowing from the 15 taps will be Pacific Northwest beers from breweries like Fort George in Astoria, Oregon, and Great Notion in Portland. Customers could sample novel flavors like a peanut butter imperial stout one day and a raspberry creme brulee sour the next.
Many of their featured breweries, said Carvalho, are self-distributing, meaning he and Heikkinen transport kegs to the island themselves.
“We will have the same styles as everyone else — IPAs, pales, … — but it will be a different selection,” said Heikkinen. “We’ll have stuff nobody else gets.”
Customers who have also come across unique brews can reveal those to others through monthly bottle shares. At this bar-sponsored event, a bartender will open bottles brought in by customers and pour samples for guests.
The bar will serve beers and ciders on draft, with light snacks like pretzels and chips, though outside food is welcomed. Bottled wine is also currently available. Glasses are $6 for beer and cider and $7 for wine. Staff also offer crowlers, which are 32-ounce cans customers can fill with their favorite draft beer, to go. Crowlers, not to be confused with growlers, are filled with carbon dioxide and sealed. Only ages 21 and up are allowed in the establishment.
For more information on the bar, follow “fridayhaborbeer” on Instagram.