A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Jameson to see if I’d be interested in going on a little adventure out to Yakima for the launch of their newest Caskmates series collaboration with Bale Breaker Brewery, and I was 100% down. We left Seattle on a bus yesterday afternoon, and a couple hours later we arrived at the Bale Breaker Brewery nestled in the middle of acres and acres of hop fields. The lovely founders of Bale Breaker, Kevin and Meghann Quinn, and Kevin Smilth, gave us an amazing tour of the brewery (accompanied with a taster of their Topcutter IPA), and then we hopped on the bus for a quick trip a few minutes away to check out the hop fields where they grow all the hops for their beer, and the original building where they started the brewery (though you might say it was more of a shed-sized “building,” haha. It’s always incredible to see where people’s visions began and the humble start to what would become an incredible, successful, growing business).
We did a little tour of the hop fields, were served delicious Jameson Whiskey cocktails, and had some mindblowingly delicious appetizers, and were treated to watching Ger Buckley, a 5th generation cooper, demonstrate how a barrel is made, which was super interesting and surprisingly entertaining! And then… the real magic began…
We were treated to an incredible meal out in the hop fields, tucked between towers of hop vines, beneath zig-zagging cafe lights. Tasters of the Caskmates whiskey, plus the Topcutter IPA (which is the beer that was first aged in the Jameson barrels, then those barrels were sent back to Jameson for them to age the Whiskey in to create the Topcutter IPA Caskmates Whiskey. Such a cool collaboration!), and then some mouthwatering dishes crafted by local chef Matt Lewis which were truly unbelievably delicious.
The whole evening felt incredibly special and it was so much fun to take part and experience it all. I was able to bring my husband Dan with me, which was exciting, as he’s a big whiskey and beer fan, so I loved that he also got to be a part of the experience. As someone who loves putting together beautiful events and photographing beautiful events, it was a really fun and inspiring evening. Trying to convince Dan we need to plant some hops at our new house so I can have my own hop field dinner in our backyard, haha.
I mean, come on, how magical is that?! Huge thanks to Jameson for the invite and to Bale Breaker for the hospitality (and to Dan for coming with me, even though he had to wake up at 5:30 the next morning to go to work!).