Last night I attended a preview event at the newest addition to Seattle’s vibrant and still-growing Ballard Brewery District. Two companies, both based in Eastern Washington, combined forces to open one new taproom: the Bale Breaker x Yonder Cider Taproom. For more info about this joint venture, see the original post below. (Pictured above, the Bale Breaker + Yonder team, from Instagram.)
The basic takeaway from last night’s visit? They’ve done an amazing job of transforming the former home of Populuxe Brewing. The place is beautiful, inside and out. Not just remodeled, but reimagined. Gorgeous.
For the grand opening, they’ve got quite the lineup on tap, with 32 products on tap total — beer and cider, as shown below. Lots of IPAs, of course. I’d recommend the Moxee Made IPA and the In The Lup IPA. Lots of ciders, of course, including a number of single varietals (SV) for you serious cider geeks. There are two Bale Breaker + Yonder collaborations on the list too (BBYC).
In addition to the draft stuff, they’ve also got a grab-n-go cooler near the front door packed with all sorts of delicious goodies.
OPENING DAY DRAFT LINEUP
- Field 41 Pale Ale
- Topcutter IPA
- Bottomcutter Imperial IPA
- Leota Mae IPA
- Hazy L IPA
- Moxee Made IPA
- Dormancy Breakfast Stout
- In The Lup IPA
- Bubba’s Brew IPA
- Clarity Rarity #6 IPA
- Hot Tub Lifeguard Kettle Sour
- Las Mas Buena Light Beer
- Humulust Hazy IPA
- Mount St. Humulus Triple IPA
- Yoxi Agave Lime Ranch Water
- BBYC East Meets West Sour Graf
- Porters Perfection SV
- Vilberie SV
- Roxbury SV
- Wenatchee Wave SV
- Orange Cardamom
- Chai Lemonade
- Yonder Bar Blend
- Friends #1: Rhinegeist
- Barrel Aged Crab Apple
- BBYC Hopped Palisade
Original Post (Aug. 23, 2021)
It is one of the most-anticipated Seattle taproom openings in quite some time. Yonder Cider and Bale Breaker Brewing have announced a date for the grand opening of their joint-effort taproom in the Ballard Brewery District. The big day is set for Saturday, September 4th.
Located at the former home of Populuxe Brewing, which closed last December, the new taproom has been completely redone. We shared news of the Yonder/Bale Breaker taproom plans back in February. Since then, the two companies have reimagined and transformed the space. It remains an expansive indoor-outdoor space that sprawls over more than 6,200 square feet.
“This taproom has been in the works for nearly a year and we are so excited to finally share what we’ve created with everyone,” said Caitlin Braam, founder of Yonder Cider. “Beyond great beverages, we believe we’ve created a space that is interactive, exciting and the perfect place to experience what Eastern Washington has to offer.”
Yonder Cider sources its ingredients from Eastern Washington, which is where it produces its cider as well. Bale Breaker Brewing creates beer at its brewery near Yakima, using hyper-local ingredients, some of which are grown on the family farm right next door.
In addition to cider and beer, the taproom will offer on-site rotating food trucks, firepits, a dedicated retail space, and a mural from local artist Jennifer Ament. They’ve got more fun additions planned for the future. Dogs and kids are welcome.
A First for Everything
The taproom will offer 32 taps of Washington-made cider and beer together at a single location. It is a unique relationship, at least here in Washington, one that brings cider and beer together under one roof from two otherwise unrelated companies.
Yes, I am aware of what is happening with Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider Company. While The Woods Tasting Room in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood offers a similar experience, Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider Company share an undeniable kinship. Also, it’s a matter of how the space is licensed. As I understand it, The Woods is not licensed as a brewery/cidery taproom, but as a tavern, which allows them to pour products from the two companies. Ever wonder why The Woods is 21-plus? Now you know.
This kind of joint-venture taproom was, and is, prohibited in Washington, as a press release from Yonder Cider explains. “As of now, cideries and breweries alone cannot share a tasting room in Washington state. However, thanks to a new bill passed in June of 2020, distilleries can share their tasting rooms with wineries and breweries.” (Cideries are licensed as wineries, btw.)
To make this combined cidery/brewery tasting room a reality, the founders of Yonder and Bale Breaker started a distillery together called Wise Fool Spirits. The distillery will act as a research and development facility for spirits produced using products from the two brands. I imagine something like an apple brandy made with mash from Bale Breaker.
“Sharing this taproom between our two brands means we are able to showcase nearly the entire breadth of beverages made in Washington state,” said Meghann Quinn, co-founder of Bale Breaker. “From beer and cider to hard seltzer and eventually wine, craft beverage enthusiasts will be able to experience and explore it all in one space!”
Two New Products Commemorate the Occasion
Yonder and Bale Breaker will release two collaborations as part of the grand opening: East Out West, a raspberry pink grapefruit kettle sour blended with Porter’s Perfection apples, and a hopped version of Yonder’s popular blackberry cider, Palisades.
The grand opening event starts at noon on Saturday, September 4th. The address is 826 NW 49th Street.
Upon opening, hours of operation:
Tuesday – Thursday from 3-9pm
Friday and Saturday from 12-10
Sunday from 12-9pm.
The taproom will be closed on Mondays.
Follow along on Instagram at @yondercider and @balebreaker for sneak peeks of the new space and additional details as the date grows closer. A final tap list will also be available at bbycballard.com in the coming week.