May 2, 2022

Josh Smith
Atwood Farm Brewery
(360) 201-8909

Atwood Farm Brewery to Release IPA for First Time Ever

As part of the human experience, we have all endured tragedy, grief and loss at some point in our lives. You may even be familiar with the Kübler-Ross model, commonly known as the “five stages of grief.” It’s an often referenced, if dated, psychological model used to describe how people deal with grief and loss. In a tongue-in-cheek new series of beers, Atwood Farm Brewery is releasing five different IPAs inspired by each of the five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining and Acceptance.

While Atwood’s new project is not born from actual grief, there is some grieving involved in the production of these new IPAs. When Atwood first opened in 2016, they boldly stated on their website, in interviews and to their customers that they had no plans to EVER brew IPA at their farm brewery, near Blaine. Save for a few clever exceptions when they brewed collaboration IPAs at other breweries, they have managed to hold fast to that ideal. After several years of sweeping change in the world, the craft beer industry, and founder and brewer/janitor Josh Smith’s personal life, everything at Atwood has been up for reexamination, including things like putting beer in cans, being open to the public and brewing IPA. “Change and adaptation is a part of being alive, and part of running a business,” states Smith, adding, “If you are not regularly changing or adapting to the circumstances around you, you are probably dead. Or, you are at least maybe out of business.”

Within their ever-changing portfolio of locally and seasonally influenced saisons, sours, stouts and other farmhouse inspired, ingredient driven beers, an IPA seems either out of place, or like it has long been missing from the lineup, depending on who you ask. This is, after all, the Pacific Northwest, birthplace of American craft beer and home of the nation’s largest hops producing areas. Some might even ask the question, “Are you really even a brewery if you don’t brew IPA?” Adding IPAs to Atwood’s production schedule is born from a practical perspective that is no longer deniable. “My livelihood is derived primarily from selling beer, and IPAs are the most popular styles of craft beer. It’s a sensible business move to brew and sell IPAs and I am probably the only person on Earth that will ever lose sleep about renegotiating on the promise to never brew them.” Smith says that Atwood does not intend to lose sight of its passion for brewing saisons and other farmhouse ales, even with IPAs as part of their regular and seasonal beer lineups. “We’re literally a farmhouse brewery, brewing in an old barn on a farm, so we will never stop brewing saisons and farmhouse ales. As a farmhouse brewery, it also makes sense that even our IPAs should be brewed ‘our way’ with local ingredients and some seasonal and farmhouse influences on the flavors and processes. That is our new plan, anyway… subject to change,” Smith says with a chuckle

The first IPA in the “Stages of Grief” series is Denial. Described as a “Farmhouse Session IPA” (whatever that means, clearly someone is in denial here), Denial is built on 100% local barley and wheat malt from Skagit Valley Malting in Burlington, local hops from Bredenhof Hop Farms in Chilliwack, BC and a smattering of modern German hops varieties for particular fruity effects. The beer is open fermented with a favorite farmhouse yeast strain, but drinks similarly to a modern hazy, juicy IPA, though a bit drier in the finish and only 5.5% ABV. Subsequent releases in the series will follow the other stages of grief: Anger, Depression, Bargaining and Acceptance. Imagine how those adjectives might inform a sub-style of IPA or ingredient choices and you will be on the right track of what else you might expect from this series

Denial is currently available in cans directly from the brewery, and will be available in cans and on draft at select retailers in northwest Washington and Seattle beginning Thursday, May 5th. The other four beers in the series will be subsequently released about 4-6 weeks apart. For more information about Denial and the Stages of Grief series, visit and follow @atwoodfarmbrewery on Instagram and Facebook.

About Atwood Farm Brewery
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; hops from less than 40 miles away in the Fraser Valley and also estate-grown hops from less than 100 yards away on our own farm. 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 often ferment at, or near, ambient temperatures, using a variety of vessels (open, closed, stainless and wood), with expressive yeast strains, before packaging and bottle conditioning or canning the vast majority of our beers.

Our beers are often 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, canned and draft ales are available for retail “to go” sales at the brewery most Saturdays and at select locations throughout northwest Washington.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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