Putting Yakima on the map with Yakima Craft and Bale Breaker.
The Yakima valley: beer free no longer.
According to the website for Yakima Craft Brewery, In 2004, Yakima Brewing and Malting, otherwise known as Bert Grant’s Real Ales, closed its doors. This marked the end of craft brewing in the Yakima valley. This void was filled in 2007, when Jeff Winn started Yakima Craft. “My in-laws lived in Yakima,” said Winn, “and I thought it was a shame that no one was brewing beer.” The 46 year old, who had previously been in the tech industry in Oregon, had been brewing beer at home for 16 years. With this experience, and no formal education on the subject, Winn opened his own brewery which sold its first beer in 2008.
Bale Breaker Brewery bursting on to the scene.
Nestled against their family’s hop farm, Meghann Quinn along with brother, Kevin Smith, and husband, also named Kevin, opened Bale Breaker in 2013. The production facility and taproom are both located at 1801 Birchfield Rd in Yakima, Wash. Driving down highway 24 towards the brewery you are flanked on both sides by hop field after hop field in an endless sea of green. This makes it very easy to see why 70 to 80% of hops produced in the United States, come from this very area. As for the brewery, business is booming. “We just launched into the Western Washington market,” said Quinn. “In fact, our Field 41 Pale Ale is being poured at Safeco Field for the Mariners 2014 home season.”