Yonder Cider

July 8, 2022
Show Notes

Exploring Washington State: Yonder Cider

If you’re looking for a unique and delicious cider in Washington State, you might want to check out Yonder Cider. The cidery produces a range of ciders, including seasonal blends and Perry, and has become a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. In this episode of Exploring Washington State, host Scott Cowan is joined by Caitlin Braam, the force multiplier behind Yonder Cider, to discuss the cidery’s history, its signature ciders, and the challenges they faced along the way.

Building Yonder Cider from the Ground Up

Caitlyn Braam Yonder CiderYonder Cider was born out of Caitlin Braam’s passion for cidermaking. Caitlin had been working in PR and marketing for other cider companies for some time but always wanted to start her own cidery. She took the leap in 2016, partnering up with SUNRED, a Seattle-based company that specialized in cidermaking. When SUNRED was put up for sale, Caitlin saw an opportunity to start her own cidery and purchased a second company, The Source, which provides custom fermentation and juice processing services for other cideries in the area.

The Benefits of Sharing a Taproom

One of the things that sets Yonder Cider apart is its partnership with a distillery, which allowed them to open a taproom despite strict zoning regulations. Caitlin had always wanted to share a taproom with a brewery, but that wasn't a possibility under the law. However, she discovered a loophole that allowed distilleries to partner with wineries and breweries to create shared taprooms. This loophole was what allowed Yonder Cider to open its own taproom at its new location.

The Perfect Spot for Yonder Cider

The search for a new space for Yonder Cider led Caitlin and her team to an unexpected place. They discovered a brewery for sale on Pro Brewer, and the outdoor space and lack of competition for cider in the area made it a perfect location for Yonder Cider.  Anew space would give them room to experiment with new blends and to interact with customers more closely. They were also able to partner up with a distributor to sell their ciders to local grocery stores and bars/restaurants when those were the only places people were purchasing beverages during the pandemic.

Building a Space for Everything

Yonder Cider's partnership with Bailbreaker brewery has been a big hit with locals and visitors alike. The space features fire pits, tons of outdoor seating, food trucks, and a large offering of 16 taps of beer and 16 taps of cider, providing visitors with many diverse options. It's a great way to show people how different ciders can be, and it's also helping to put cider on the map in a way that it never has been before.

A Popular Spot Even During the Pandemic

Yonder Cider's taproom became a popular spot for people in the neighborhood to visit during the pandemic, when there wasn't much else to do in terms of entertainment. It provided a temporary escape from the stresses of daily life and became a source of hope for everyone struggling during these times. Their success was thanks in no small part to the support of breweries and beer industry friends who helped get the word out and provided invaluable support to the local cider industry.

Overcoming Challenges to Keep a Dream Alive

The success of Yonder Cider was not without its challenges. In the same podcast episode, the speakers discussed a situation where someone seemed unhappy with the business. This led to multiple visits from the zoning department, health department, and liquor control board, which became major sources of stress for Caitlin. However, she fought back by challenging the zoning department and working with City council to pass a bill called Bringing Businesses Home which removed home business restrictions and allowed small businesses to incubate within their garages.

The Power of Perry Pears

One of the unique things about Yonder Cider is that they produce and sell Perry, which is a type of fermented pear drink that's less common but equally as delicious as cider. Perry is harder to find than cider, but Caitlin and her team are doing their best to introduce people to the drink and to show them how different and complex it can be. They use Perry pears, known for their high sugar content and small size, which give their Perry a slight natural sweetness that sets it apart from other ciders.

Final Thoughts

Yonder Cider Logo

Overall, Yonder Cider is a great example of the power of following your passions and building something from the ground up. Caitlin and her team have faced challenges along the way, but their dedication to their craft has allowed them to create a unique and delicious product that people love. If you're ever in the Seattle area, consider stopping by one of their taprooms to try their delicious range of ciders. You won't be disappointed.


Each episode we will have a chat with someone who has a great story to share about Washington State. From artists, to business owners.  Musicians to athletes. Exploring Washington State will showcase the beauty and creativity here in Washington State.

You can find all our podcast episodes on our Exploring Washington State Podcast Page.

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Want other great ideas of places to visit, or to find out more about people who are making amazing things in Washington State  visit Explore Washington State.

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