Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

Women In Beer - Meet Yonder Cider Founder and CEO Caitlin Braam

March 3, 2024

In celebration of Women's History Month and Women In Beer, we continue with a highlight of cider boss Caitlin Braam, CEO of Yonder Cider!

Yonder’s about more than just delicious drinks (although, let’s be real, those are amazing too!) Caitlin’s all about building a diverse and welcoming team. That feeling extends to the taproom too, making it a space where everyone belongs. Yonder Cider is about churning out incredible cider AND creating a space that’s as unique and as amazing as the people who drink it.

Wanna hear more from Caitlin? Snag tickets to our Women in Beer event on March 21! Check out the details!

What inspired you to start a cidery?

I’ve been working in the beverage industry for a long time. I worked in beer, wine, spirits, and then kind of slipped-tripped-fell and started drinking cider. I found that there was this gap between culinary only, light bright, refreshing but not a lot of body to it, and these beautiful ciders that had only cider fruit in them that you kind of drank on Saturday nights with friends. I felt like there was an opportunity to marry those two worlds a little bit, and also marry my love of marketing, branding and PR, and really build not only a cidery, but a brand a space that people wanted to be a part of. 

How do you foster diversity and inclusivity within your team and customer base?

It's kind of cool to be able to have just a big diverse group of people. In Wenatchee being queer is not as talked about, and it's not as welcoming. It's changing fast, which I'm really happy about, and I feel like we are a part of that. We're hopefully building a taproom out in that area that will be like our current Seattle taproom.

It'll be inclusive, and it'll be diverse. I'm looking forward to putting that into that community. But yeah, production can be different for women if you're physically short. Like the manholes can be tall. You need stepstools, ladders and things can be heavy where you need different pallet jacks, different keg moving devices. It just changes the way you do work, but you do it together. Me and another gal can lift a 50 liter of cider into the back of my truck, no problem. 

Share a time when you felt particularly proud of your contributions as a woman in craft brewing?

One thing I’m really proud of about being a woman in this industry is that we have an extremely diverse team at Yonder. We attract a very diverse group of people that apply to work at Yonder because I feel like they know we’ve created a safe space. We have a lot of LGBTQIA+ people that work with us and we have a lot of BIPOC.  

I fully believe that diversity makes for a stronger business, stronger opinions, and more diversity overall. I’m really proud to be able to have that community, not just within the company and our employees, but also within our taproom and the spaces we occupy. We work together to make it possible and I’m glad that Yonder is that space, and that we can change that mentality a little bit and make production spaces more accessible for people.  

What advice do you have for other women looking to enter or excel in the industry?

If a woman is looking to get into this industry or excel in this industry, find a woman you admire that works in the industry now. I happily meet with women all the time to give advice or to talk about the challenges they're facing or to share my stories of the things I've faced in hopes that they feel a little bit more empowered to keep moving forward, to keep growing and to keep having their voice heard. I still do it to this day because there are women in this industry I admire very much.

I started my own business three years ago. It's not an easy road, and I don't have all the answers. Half the time I'm making it up as I go, I'll be honest, but there are a lot of people I've reached out to to be like, “Am I doing this right?” “Is this the right way?” I think that's the beauty of being in this industry. It's very welcoming and then having other women in this industry, we all want to share what we learn, so that there are more people like us in this space and to help others get where they want to go.