Why Yonder, You Wonder?

Why Yonder, You Wonder?

In case you missed it last week, we announced that we’re opening a new taproom this summer in Seattle with our good friends at Yonder Cider. Coming to the Ballard Brewing District, we’ll be slinging the freshest off the farm brews, and Yonder will be bringing you the best of Apple Country, USA.

Curious as to why we’re partnering with a cidery, and Yonder specifically? Read on for all the behind-the-scenes details.

Why partner with a cidery?

We’ll be upfront: as hardcore beer drinkers and craft brew fanatics, we’re often a little one-sided in our beverage pursuits. We tend to get tunnel vision when planning an outing to a new drinkery, only looking for the latest brewery opening or buzzed-about taproom space. But the truth is, we’re equal-opportunity drinkers… if it’s handcrafted and delicious, we want to try it. Plus, we often leave our gluten-free or non-beer drinking friends and family in a lurch: we drag them to brewery after brewery where the main focus is always beer first and foremost, and let them figure out what on the taplist they can drink.

So when the opportunity to partner with Yonder came up, it made sense for us – we LOVE their cider, and we want to give an opportunity to drinkers of all kind to come in, taste a variety of beverages, and discover a potential new drink they haven’t delved into before.

How are we opening a joint taproom with a cidery?

If you’re familiar with liquor laws, you might be wondering how we’re able to open a joint taproom with a cidery at all. Prior to last year, a brewery and a winery (which is technically what Yonder Cider is) couldn’t share a tasting room in Washington state. But, lucky for us, in June of 2020 a new law passed that allowed distilleries to share a space with both breweries & wineries…. So say hello to “Wise Fool Spirits”, our joint distillery with the good folks at Yonder Cidery. For now, the distillery is mainly an R&D project, where we’ll be developing ways to distill our products/ingredients into apple-based spirits and whiskey or similar projects. It’s going to be a blast to learn this entirely new craft, and we’ll keep you all posted as we dive into Wise Fool.

Why did we decide to open this taproom with Yonder?

Partnering with Yonder has been the most fun part of this project to us. If you aren’t familiar with Yonder yet, you will be soon. This small cidery has made a pretty big impression already – their garage bar quickly became a pandemic staple in Seattle this summer, and despite the attempts of one particularly grumpy neighbor, they’ve grown into a cult favorite with a ton of support in the city.

Yonder co-founder and president, Caitlin Braam, is a veteran in the beverage industry. She previously worked as the President of Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing Co. – where she worked closely with our co-founder and Brewmaster, Kevin “Smitty” Smith, back in his Two Beers days. Smitty & Caitlin have kept up over the years as they both branched out into new ventures. As Caitlin looked to expand Yonder Cider with a Seattle taproom space, and we searched for a new location to spread our beer West of the Cascades, it just made sense to team up.

But we’re not just excited to team up with Yonder for personal reasons – our two companies are remarkably similar. Yonder hails from Wenatchee, where they focus on only using the best, local ingredients in their cider. If you’re reading this, chances are you already know that we’re obsessively passionate about using the best ingredients in our beer… to the point that we often grow 100% of them ourselves. We love that we’re bringing the hops straight from Hop Country, USA, and Yonder is bringing the apples straight from Apple Country, USA. We can’t wait to introduce the bounties of the East side of the Cascades to those on the West.

What can you expect from the Bale Breaker x Yonder Taproom?

First and foremost, expect only the highest quality craft beverages, pulled together from the best ingredients we can find and grow. We’re already noodling around some collaborations – so you can expect some new and innovative beers and ciders that pull together our two ingredient bases. We’ll have all of our classics along with tons of unique beers straight from our Imagination Station.

Another aspect of this partnership that just makes sense is our shared values. #BeYondBallard will be a space that reflects that – a space for community gatherings, for families to come together, for date nights and birthday parties, for you to enjoy creative and delicious beverages while also petting stranger’s dogs. We’re raising our families in this space and welcome you to do the same – it’ll be a kid friendly spot, but one that feels just as comfortable for a kid-free date night. Both of our companies are dedicated to giving back and to social justice, so you’ll see events and initiatives that reflect those values as well. Plus, it’s just a rad space! The biggest beer garden space in Seattle, with fire pits and rotating food trucks. After a year like 2020, we’re ready to focus on gathering and enjoying our evenings with friends, new and old, and we can’t wait to do so at both of our locations.

As we design and develop this space, we promise to keep you all in the loop. Follow along on Instagram at @yondercider and @balebreaker for updates and announcements. In the meantime, be sure to try out Yonder Cider at our newly re-opened Yakima taproom – we’re now carrying their Dry Cider alongside our 16 taps of fresh off the farm brews.

We can’t wait to bring the east out west this summer – see you soon, Seattle!

Posted March 05, 2021

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