BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Good news for anyone who has ever sat in a bar at last call and lamented when the bartender says, "You don't have to go home but you can't stay here."
At one Bellingham brewery, you can stay.
"You're literally a stones throw away from where you drink. Have a sip of beer, step up the stairs and you can fall into bed," said Nadine van Niekerk, who owns Stones Throw Brewing with her husband, Tony.
The brewery, located in Bellingham's Fairhaven neighborhood, offers a guest room where people can actually stay the night. There are two beds, a pullout couch, a full kitchen and bath.
There is also plenty of company.
"If you're staying at the guesthouse you have to love beer and like people because you are surrounded by the brewery," said Nadine. "If the grain comes in, we're always happy to have people help us carry it upstairs because we have a lot of stairs around here."
Along with its quirky collection of brew kettles, barstools, firepits and full-size shipping containers, there is actually a bit of history here as well. The guest house was a brothel called "Miss Annie's Palace" in the 1800s.
The current owners used to live inside and even had beer taps installed near the kitchen. Unfortunately, they've been turned off and you now have to go downstairs to get a beer.
Despite the homey feeling, you're not allowed to step behind the bar and pour yourself a beer.
"Sorry," said Nadine. "Definitely not!"
There are about 450 breweries in Washington right now, that's the fourth most in America. With 15 breweries in Bellingham alone, operators often have to do more than just provide great beer to stand out.
Stones Throw has seen visitors from as far away and England and South Africa.
The charge is anywhere from $80 to $120 per night, depending on demand.
When asked what the best part about living in a brewery is, Nadine responded, "I would say the beer is on your doorstep. You get to smell the grain in the morning when the brew is happening, and I think hearing the laughter of people enjoying themselves. Those are my favorite things."
That and the fact that beer lovers can now take the barroom to their bedroom.