BLAINE, Wash. — A small craft brewery in Blaine is producing farmhouse-style ales made in a 100-year-old barn.
Atwood Farm Brewery also incorporates fruit, herbs, and vegetables harvested on the property into beer recipes.
"We grow potatoes and beets and carrots and all other kinds of vegetables to eat, but also a lot of that stuff goes into the beers,” said Josh Atwood Smith, who founded the nano-brewery in 2016. “We forage around the property for things like stinging nettles and blackberries and tree bark and leaves sometimes, too."
But perhaps the most memorable part of the process is where he works — inside the century-old barn where he also grew up.
"It's been added onto a couple of times, up until maybe the 40s or 50s,” he said. "We moved here when I was like 2 years old, I think."
His unique brews have earned honors at several brewing competitions. He specializes in farmhouse ales, sours, saisons, and barrel-aged beer.
"I'm not afraid to try almost anything and that's part of the beauty of this brewery and being as small as it is — we can take risks like that,” he said. "If I want to try something new, I don't have to go through a whole chain of, 'Hey, can we do this?' I get to do everything, which is a blessing and a curse."
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Smith jokes he’s the founder, brewer, and head janitor of the operation. His parents still tend the land and his partner Amanda designs the beer labels.
"There's no way this would be happening without them, or I would be very tired all of the time — which I already am,” he said, laughing. "I love this place, I love being here. It's really special."
Atwood brews Grange (an amber farmhouse ale) and Dark Harbor (an oyster stout made with real oysters) year-round, but everything else bottled or canned is a new creation.
Smith hosts tastings in the barn most Saturdays from 1 – 5 p.m. The brewery is located at 4012 Sweet Rd. in Blaine.
The beers are also available in a variety of stores from Whatcom County to the South Sound.