As much as some would like to believe, the Blaine Act (which initiated the repeal of the 18th Amendment and was later adopted as the 21st Amendment) wasn’t named after the thriving rum running and bootlegging scene around Blaine, Washington, during Prohibition. The Blaine Act was sponsored by Wisconsin Senator John Blaine.

But that’s not to discount Blaine’s boozy history, which might have even included some illegal distilleries during Prohibition. But to my knowledge, this border city just 20 miles north of Bellingham has never had a brewery before.

If things go as planned for Josh Smith, founder of Atwood Ales, this could all change soon.

With his recently acquired building permit to begin “tenant improvements for a microbrewery,” Atwood Ales is one step closer to coming to fruition.

“We have a lot of hammer swinging to do on our 100-year-old barn, and we still have some modifications and fabrications to do on our equipment,” Smith says, “but it’s all starting to manifest into something tangible after the last eight months of planning.”

Smith plans to produce a variety of ales, many in the spirit of French and Belgian farmhouse ales that helped inspire his passion for brewing. “The surrounding acreage provides countless opportunities to directly incorporate agricultural and natural ingredients into our small-batch beers,” he says.

Atwood Ales will start out as a production brewery. At this time, an on-site tasting room is not in the plans.

Smith hopes to be producing beer sometime this fall, which will be available at select local outlets.