1868: Charles Carpenter plants the first hop field in present-day Yakima.
Late 1800s: The Moxee Company, owned by Alexander Graham Bell and family (yes, THAT Alexander Graham Bell), first plants hops on present-day Field 41, the future site of Bale Breaker Brewing Co.
1920: Michael Loftus, an Irish immigrant and grandfather of BT Loftus, follows the railroad west, settles in Yakima, and buys the family homestead, which would serve as the ranch’s HQ for 80 years.
1932: Leota Mae, wife of BT Loftus and great-grandma to Bale Breaker owners, plants the first hop field, igniting what would become the family’s legacy for four generations and counting.
1933: Prohibition ends in the US (thanks for the forward thinking, Leota Mae).
1970s: Mike Smith, father to Bale Breaker owners Patrick, Meghann and Kevin Smith, joins grandma Leota Mae to run the farm after BT’s sudden passing, marking the third generation of hop farmers.
1980s: Bale Breaker owners Patrick, Meghann, and Kevin are born (along with future co-owner Kevin Quinn, over in Idaho), kicking off the fourth generation of future hop farmers, and first generation of brewery owners.
1984: First US brewpub after prohibition opens in Yakima, WA, helmed by the legendary Bert Grant.
2009: Leota Mae Loftus passes away at the age of 98.
2010: First great-great grandchild of BT and Leota Mae is born, marking the (potential) fifth generation of future hop farmers.
2011: Patrick, Meghann, Kevin, and Meghann’s husband, Kevin Quinn, move back home to fulfill their lifelong dream of building a brewery on their family’s hop farm.
2012: Ground breaks on Field 41, making room for the future site of Bale Breaker’s taproom and brewery.
2013: Doors open at Bale Breaker Brewing Company, debuting Field 41 Pale Ale and Topcutter IPA, and distributing only through Eastern WA & Northern Idaho.
2014: Bale Breaker launches Western WA distribution.
2016: Bale Breaker adds 16,000 square feet to brewery, doubling annual capacity by adding eleven 120 barrel fermenters. Plus, Bottomcutter IIPA joins the lineup.
2017: Leota Mae IPA is released in honor of matriarch Leota Mae.
2018: Bale Breaker expands footprint to Oregon, debuts a fresh new look, and adds Dormancy Breakfast Stout to its year-round lineup.
2019: Bale Breaker expands to SW Oregon. The Loftus Ranches and Bale Breaker teams mark off a new first: the first homegrown barley crop is harvested, and the 16oz series now called Homegrown (formerly Sown & Grown) is released. Bale Breaker debuts another first: beer in glass, launching their barrel-aged bottled beer program.
2020: The year kicks off with the launch of year-round Hazy L IPA, Bale Breaker’s first 12oz 6pk hazy in the lineup, and a nod to BT & Leota Mae’s “Lazy L” cattle brand. COVID hangs a cloud over the year, closing the taproom, but the innovation continues: Clarity Rarity, a 16oz series of experimental Hazy IPAs, is launched, and Bale Breaker Pilsner joins the year-round lineup.
2021: Bale Breaker expands to Southern Idaho. The Yakima taproom reopens in spring, followed by the late summer opening of the new Bale Breaker x Yonder Cider Taproom in Seattle’s Ballard Brewing District. Bale Breaker releases the first YOXI Hard Seltzer, packages a kettle sour into cans for the first time, and launches Frenz, a 16oz series of collaboration beers.
2022: New innovation leads the charge: YOXI Hard Seltzer is released in 12pk Variety Packs, with 3 new flavors, and the Bale Breaker owners hit another first: Sungaze Cannabis Company launches their first product, Sungaze Cannabis Seltzers. Homegrown’s cans are freshened up with a fun new look, and Bale Breaker Brewing Co turns 9 years old.