Atwood Ales Farm Brewery in Blaine, Washington is very, very rarely open to the public. It is, after all, a working farm, a real family farm, operated by a real family. It is not just a brewery with the word farm in the name. This Saturday and Sunday, September 7th and 8th, they’ll swings open the barn doors to give beer fans a glimpse inside the brewery. The rare, limited opening is part of the larger Whatcom County Farm Tour weekend. Atwood Ales Farm Brewery will be open from 10am-4pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
Note that this is a special opportunity scheduled for this weekend only. Atwood Ales isn’t normally open to the public, so please don’t try to visit them outside of these particular dates and times. Respect their privacy.
It’s a charming, rural affair at Atwood Ales Farm Brewery. From the repurposed brewing equipment to the refurbished 100-year-old barn, from the reclaimed brewery wastewater that is used for irrigation to the hop yard where they grow their “estate hops,” this is your chance to unlock some of the mystery surrounding the small brewery where Atwood Ales creates its award-winning farmhouse ales.
In addition to touring and learning about the brewery and farm, they’ll serve some samples. Also, they’ll have bottles for sale, including a new release from their barrel project: Paper Lanterns, Ground Cherry Saison. Learn more about the beer below.
Atwood Ales Farm Brewery is an easy 25-minute drive north of Bellingham. For detailed farm descriptions and a map, visit https://eatlocalfirst.org/all-events/whatcom-farm-tour/ and also visit the event page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/480414632700412/
Atwood is one of over a dozen farms participating in the Whatcom County Farm Tour weekend and they encourage you to take advantage of all of the free entertainment and educational opportunities at other locations on the tour. The Farm Tour highlights family-owned farms. It is is free, self-guided, and family-friendly. See, taste, feel, and learn hands-on what goes into local food (and beer!) production. The tour will have everything from baby cows to hayrides, to a field of roaming yaks, to solar-powered aquaponics, and provides exciting educational activities at each tour stop.
About Paper Lanterns
Paper Lanterns is an experimental saison, brewed with Skagit Valley pilsner and wheat malts, estate-grown Tettnang hops, and aged in oak with multiple strains of Brettanomyces and estate-grown ground cherries. Only thirteen cases of this beauty were produced.
What the heck is a ground cherry? No, it’s not a cherry that fell on the ground and you ate within the limitations of the “five-second rule.” Ground cherries are a fruit in the Nightshade family of plants, which includes things like tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and eggplant. More specifically, ground cherries are closely related to tomatillos. Like tomatillos, ground cherries grow inside a papery husk, hence the reason this beer is named, Paper Lanterns. The fruits are grape-size and have an interesting sweet/tart flavor and a wonderful acidity, which plays nicely with the mild Brett character and oak. The elements play so nicely together, in fact, that the beer almost drinks more like an oaked white wine. It really is beer, though!
As usual, the beautiful artwork on the labels was created by close friend of the brewery, Erin Ramsay, of Vancouver, BC.
About Atwood Ales Farm Brewery
You may have had a saison or farmhouse ale before, but have you ever had one that was brewed on a farm? Established in 2016 in rural, northwest Washington State, our small, family farm grows ingredients for the on-site brewery where we produce unique ales inspired by French and Belgian farmhouse brewing traditions.
We start with local ingredients: water from our local aquifer; malt from less than 50 miles away in the Skagit Valley; and our estate-grown hops. Then, we add other ingredients sourced from our own farm; gathered and foraged from the peripheries of our property; or purchased from local organic farmers, producers and processors. Finally, we ferment at ambient temperatures, in open tanks, with expressive yeast strains, before packaging and bottle conditioning the vast majority of our beers. Our beers are meant to represent some aspect of time and place, with the ingredients, seasons, weather, microbes and our brewer all having both intentional and spontaneous influences on the flavors of our beers.
Our unique, bottle conditioned and draft farmhouse ales are available throughout western Washington and in limited quantities in British Columbia and Florida.