How kegs fueled the growth of a draft-first cidery
First homesteaded in 1895, Bauman Farms is a multigenerational community staple in rural Oregon. But it wasn’t until Christine Walter came along that the family considered turning their apple orchards into cider. Once they did, the cider business boomed quickly.
What made Bauman’s Cider unique was that it was primarily a draft company — in fact, more than 90% draft by volume, which is uncommon in the industry — which made it essential that she choose the right keg partner from the get-go.
“Our very first pallet of kegs came from G4. (That felt like a huge expenditure at the time, which is comedy now that I buy hundreds of kegs per month.) It’s a big decision, and a lot of brewers rent. But as cider makers, we’re very conscientious of being vegan and gluten free. Even washing them rigorously, there’s the possibility of trace materials. By committing to our own kegs, we didn’t have to be concerned about cross-contamination.”
– Christine Walter
Owner & Founder, Bauman’s Cider
It was important to the team that the company grow in an organic and sustainable way — which is why they started small and fed all profits back into the company. That way, for each stage of growth, that profit could be capitalized into investments that made their operation more efficient. In Bauman’s case, that meant more and more kegs.
“Up until 2020, we grew more than 100% year over year. For every month we had profit for the first few years, I’d buy kegs. From a capital standpoint, kegs last 30 years or so. So when they’ve been used 7 times they pay for themselves. I was so excited the day I sent John an email to say I needed a whole truck of kegs. John responded that he was proud of us.”
In addition to the considerations around keg purity, the Bauman team prioritized a partnership that cared about kegs as much as they did. G4’s 10-year warranty gave them the peace of mind that Bauman’s kegs would be taken care of no matter what.
“I got a few small shipments from [another company] once, but they don’t stand by their kegs like G4 does, and there was a quality issue. I once had a keg spear that detached, and G4 just took care of it. No questions, no paperwork. It’s about quality and service.”
We’re proud to have played a part in Bauman’s banner growth since 2016 — even as the company adapted to more packaged product during the pandemic. We look forward to our continued partnership, and can’t wait to see what’s next for this local favorite.
“Nobody beats their pricing, which is important — especially when the economy is doing crazy things. Their customer service is so good that sometimes I worry that I must be paying a premium. But I called around to compare pricing, got three bids, and they were still the lowest! It’s nice that they’re competitive AND they’re good people.”