It’s sad to think of it as a piece of Seattle beer history, but that’s what it is. Anyone who visited Populux Brewing in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood probably recognizes the mural painted by local artist Brandon Michael Baker, better known as narboo (@narboo). The 16′ x 8.5′ painting, on two industrial-style garage doors, is an effective tool for inducing smiles, promoting a sense of community, and conjuring memories of Populux Brewing.
As we previously reported, Populux Brewing closed down in December of last year. That was the bad news. The good news soon followed when we learned that a craft-focused joint venture was taking over the location; Bale Breaker Brewing and Yonder Cider are opening a taproom at the former home of Populux Brewing.
The transformation is currently underway as Bale Breaker and Yonder Cider reimagine the space. Part of the build-out involves the removal of the narboo mural. It needs a new home! Check out the auction page for more details.
“I wanted the painting to be colorful and full of characters like most of my work,” said narboo. “I knew Populuxe was going to be a destination for families, locals and tourists and I wanted to showcase this in the piece. It’s basically just all kinds of animals getting along having fun and making memories. That’s what life is all about. If I can bring a smile to someone’s face then I’ve done my job as an artist. The world needs more smiles.”
Proceeds from the auction benefit Ballard Food Bank, which is also in the process of building out a new space. It was already a busy, crowded place, but the pandemic hit food banks and other service organizations especially hard as community needs skyrocketed. The food bank now sees over 6,400 visits and deliveries per month and is looking for a final funding push as it approaches its move-in deadline and completes construction at the new, bigger location at 1400 NW Leary Way.
The mural itself expresses a sense of togetherness and community and the auction hopes to raise funds for, and also shine a light on, the Ballard Food Bank, its mission, and its move to a new location. The auction will be active through July 28, with a live event on July 20th to help raise awareness of the Ballard Food Bank’s new location, share details about the new taproom, and more.
“Everyone seems to know this narboo painting and we love the message it shares,” said Caitlin Braam, founder of Yonder Cider. “Unfortunately, due to construction, the painting needed to be removed, but we’re just so happy it is able to be moved and auctioned off to benefit such an important local organization that has been so vital during these times.”
“We are incredibly grateful to Yonder Cider and Bale Breaker Brewing for supporting our new space through this fun, local community auction,” said Jen Muzia, Executive Director of Ballard Food Bank. “Not only will our new and larger facility allow the Food Bank to provide nutritious food for even more of our neighbors, but it will also enable us to expand our wrap-around services that aim to prevent homelessness and connect folks to other needed resources as well.”
About the Auction
The auction is now live and will close on Wednesday, July 28. Details of the painting can be found on the auction page. The live event on July 20th will take place at 6:00 P.M. at the site of the new Bale Breaker and Yonder Cider Taproom. Members of the Bale Breaker and Yonder Cider teams will be there and guests will get a sneak peek at some of the beers and ciders they can expect to find at the new taproom. Also, they’ll get a preview of the new Ballard Food Bank, and get a chance to chat with Narboo himself.
About the New Taproom
Located at 826 NW 49th Street, the joint taproom is scheduled to open later this summer. It will bring more than 30 taps of Washington-made beer and cider together under one roof, showcasing the best apples and hops grown in the state.
The new taproom offers more than 6,200 square feet of outdoor space along with a generously sized indoor space. Expect a rotating schedule of food trucks, outdoor firepits, and more. The taproom will offer year-round, seasonal, and specialty releases from both brands. On top of that, the location will house a small-batch production facility for both Yonder and Bale Breaker.