The new taproom is opening in the former Populuxe Brewing location at 826 NW 49th St. Populuxe closed at the end of 2020 due to challenges related to the pandemic. They’d been in the neighborhood for eight years.
Yonder Cider and Bale Breaker are opening the first taproom of its kind; cideries and breweries previously couldn’t open a joint tasting room in Washington state under previous licensing regulations. However, a new bill that passed in June 2020 allowed distilleries to share tasting rooms with wineries and breweries.
To make the new arrangement work, Yonder and Bale Breaker started a distillery together called Wise Fool Spirits. The new distillery will act as a R&D for spirits produced using products from the two brands, the founders tell My Ballard. They’ll be releasing two collaborations as part of the grand opening: “East Out West” is a raspberry pink grapefruit kettle sour blended with Porter’s Perfection apples, and a hopped version of Yonder’s blackberry cider called “Palisades.”
The joint taproom will have 37 taps of beer and cider, on-site rotating food trucks, fire pits, and dedicated retail space, and a new mural from local artist Jennifer Ament.
“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,” Caitlin Braam, founder of Yonder Cider, said in a release about the grand opening. “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 recently made news when their Greenwood walk-up cider shop was forced to close due to neighbor complaints and zoning issues. The closure prompted District 6 Councilmember Dan Strauss to co-sponsor a new bill titled Bringing Business Home, a Small Business Flexibility Bill, which allows more flexibility for small businesses to operate out of homes. The bill was passed on March 15 and loosened restrictions to allow for food and beverage retailers, such as Yonder Bar, to do business at home.
Bale Breaker sibling-owners Meghann Quinn, Kevin Smith, and Patrick Smith started their family-run brewing company in Yakima Valley, and now distribute beer throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
“Sharing this taproom between our two brands means we are able to showcase nearly the entire breadth of beverages made in Washington state,” Quinn said. “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!”
The Ballard location will also house small-batch production for both Yonder and Bale Breaker, with future plans to include outdoor movies, cider and beer education classes, and joint releases.
When they open, the Yonder and Bale Breaker taproom will be open Tuesday to Thursday from 3-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 12-10 p.m., and Sunday from 12-9 p.m. The taproom will be closed on Mondays.