If you haven’t heard, we’re opening our new location in the Ballard Brewing District later this summer – the Bale Breaker & Yonder Taproom is just a month or two out from serving up 32 taps of delicious locally made beer and cider, and we couldn’t be more stoked. We’re having a blast remodeling the space to get it just right before we open, but unfortunately part of remodeling has meant removing the amazing painting that previously lived in the outdoor space.
This popular Narboo painting was done on two industrial-style garage doors in 2016, back when the space was the home of Populuxe Brewing. Rather than getting rid of it (how could we?!), we thought it’d be fun to auction the painting off to support our friends at Ballard Food Bank – who are also in the midst of a huge move and remodel.
Jen Muzia, Executive Director of Ballard Food Bank, was able to swing by our pile of dirt (soon to be more than that, we promise) and give us some insight into what’s happening with their new location. Ballard Food Bank is also moving into the Ballard Brewing District, just in time to be our new neighbors – they’re planning to open their new space in October of this year. “With the pandemic, it’s never been more critical”, says Jen. “We have a record number of people visiting our food bank and getting services during this crisis.” The new Ballard Food Bank will be double the space of their previous home and feature a grocery store, café, and community hub. This will allow providers to offer services to their clients and be a one stop shop for the community, in hopes of helping aid in recovery from the pandemic.
While our auction is one way to support the food bank, we encourage you to visit ballardfoodbank.org and get involved – whether by donating or volunteering, there are plenty of ways to support. And if you’re in Seattle, be sure to shop local this weekend and join in on the Ballard Gives Back event this Saturday in support of the Food Bank.
Artist of the mural, Brandon Michael Baker (Narboo), also swung by to give us a little behind-the-scenes info about the painting. “Art and beer bring people together, and I wanted to showcase that in this mural,” says Narboo. Some fun facts: the mural features his cat, TheRealPercyThePersian (yes, he’s an insta-famous cat), a couple of his buddies, and a hedgehog with braces – “a particular hell I went through in my teenage years”. The painting was done on two pieces of sheet metal, 16 feet wide and 8 feet tall (or, as we like to measure things, Quinn-with-his-arm-stretched-up feet tall). Narboo is “happy to help the community that’s supported me” – so be sure to check out the auction and place a bid between now and July 28th. All proceeds of the winning bid will go to the Ballard Food Bank.
Pivoting to the taproom chat, we answered some questions from viewers and gave an update on construction. Renovations are currently underway – we’ve made a lot of changes to the space, including moving the bar and cooler, expanding the front retail space, adding in a dedicated area for our distillery, and increasing the taps to 32. The outdoor space is what drew us at Bale Breaker to this building: 6,000 square feet of seating, fire pits, planter boxes and trees, space for food trucks to come in, and picnic tables galore. We’ll eventually be covering a portion, so we can hang out outside come rain or shine.
Oh, and what about that distillery we mentioned? We love a good loophole – while wineries (Yonder Cider is technically classified as a winery) and breweries can’t share a taproom, distilleries can share a taproom with both. So we figured… why not just start a distillery? Wise Fools Spirits will initially just be an R&D joint venture, but eventually you can expect whiskey made with our homegrown malt and apple brandy made with Yonder Cider. That’s down the road quite a bit, but keep an eye out for more Wise Fools news.
Some questions we received:
Why Yonder & Bale Breaker? It just makes sense – Yonder is based in Wenatchee, and we’re based in Yakima. We’re both passionate about bringing the bounties of the east of the Cascades over to the west side. We’re stoked to offer a totally unique experience to fans of craft beer and craft cider. Plus, it’s just more fun to do stuff with friends!
How many different food options will be available? We’re leaving food to the experts – so we’ll have a dedicated spot for food trucks, similar to our Yakima taproom. Interested in joining us as a food truck? Slide into our DMs!
Will there be slushies? Looove that idea! Keep an eye out for that in the future – maybe early next year. Cider slushies are delicious, and we’re excited to experiment with some beer slushies. Our first canned kettle sour, Hot Tub Lifeguard, would make for one hell of a slushy, if we do say so ourselves…
How many different beverages will be available? Our goal: all of them! We’re splitting our 32 taps down the middle – so 16 Bale Breaker beverages and 16 from Yonder. Along with our beer, we’re constantly experimenting with new hard seltzer, and rumor has it Yonder is looking into wine.
Any Bale Breaker/Yonder collab plans? BOY DO WE. We have a collab coming up that will be on tap when we open: a grapefruit and raspberry kettle sour blended back with 20% Porter’s Perfection single varietal cider. This collab blurs the line of what is a beer and what is a cider. A tasty, slightly tart drink that fans of cider and beer alike will love – come out and try it on draft when we open up! Plus, Yonder is taking their summer seasonal, Palisades, and dry-hopping with hops from yours truly. Quinn has a bet going that this will be their #1 cider, so it’s important for us that you come out and try that cider and rave about how much you love it!
And, here it is, the number one question we got:
WHEN ARE YOU OPENING? The million dollar question – late summer is our target date! Hang in there – the second we are ready to open we’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. We’re working fast and are excited to get you all out here as soon as we can.
Posted July 23, 2021