Ponderosa Beer + Books has been a longtime dream for owner and founder Jessie Polin. A classically trained flutist, Polin fell into her love of craft beer in the most unexpected way: during her time playing in the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra. Her fellow musicians introduced her to their passion for craft beer over pints at the Bitter Creek Ale House after rehearsals and concerts. Splitting her time between Boise and Seattle as a freelance musician, Jessie began working at Brave Horse Tavern where her love for the industry only grew. After making the decision to leave professional music and pursue beer full time, Jessie worked at Fremont Brewing for more than three years, before deciding to go out on her own in a new city, with a new concept.
“I’ve wanted to move to Bellingham since the very first time I visited,” says Polin. “It has everything I love. It’s close to water, the mountains, it’s beautiful and the best part is I genuinely love the people here. It’s been really fun and as a new person in town, I’m so amazed by how welcoming and supportive everyone has been.”
As for the books, they’ve always been a big part of Jessie’s life and an important part of her exploration into craft beer and beverages. She hopes by offering a rotating selection of beverage and food focused titles, she can break down some of the barriers around craft beer and help educate in an approachable way. “I’m excited about an opportunity to combine things I love the most all in one space. I hope people think of the books as a conversation starter and a way to engage more with beer.”