3 Dog Cider and Brewstillery expands, opens new tasting room in Ethel heritage barn formerly owned by the Hadaller family


After first opening 3 Dog Cider and Brewstillery in 2021 on a small remaining portion of his family’s old apple orchards in Silver Creek, Joshua Hail has successfully recultivated the land to grow and produce 65 different varieties of apples.

The ciders he produces with those apples have become popular enough to warrant their own tasting room.

Many of his varieties are also incredibly rare, as Hail is part of the Lost Apple Project, which seeks to identify and preserve apple varieties once thought to be extinct.

In August 2023, Hail purchased the property located at 2040 U.S. Highway 12 in Ethel — a property that happens to have a heritage barn built in 1932. Now, that barn is the new tasting room for 3 Dog Cider and Brewstillery.

Defined by the Washington state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation as a large agricultural outbuilding over 50 years old with “historical significance and integrity,” there are at least nine designated heritage barns in Lewis County.

“Onalaska-Ethel Grains, just down the road here at that intersection, they all got together and built this barn,” Hail said.

The barn features a rare intact brick silo behind it. The property’s original owners were members of the Hadaller family — Leo and Minnie Hadaller.

Some of the wood that makes up the barn’s frame still has the words “Sold Hadaller” written on it from when it was originally purchased for the barn’s construction.

“The grandson has stopped in here of the original owners, and he’s pretty happy about it,” Hail said. “Driving by here and seeing it in the state of disrepair it was in, and seeing it being taken care of, he said he’s happy.” 

While the silo’s exact construction date is unknown, Hail believes it was built sometime during the 1940s or 1950s, as brick was being promoted as a building material while the U.S. was focused on saving steel for war construction efforts.

“I was talking to (Lewis County Public Utilities District Commissioner) Mike Hadaller. He said they used to just fill it up with silage,” Hail said.

Silage is a type of feed common for cattle and sheep made by preserving green foliage crops through fermentation.

Hail is still in the process of renovating the barn, but has restored it to the point where it can be used as a tasting room to sample the many cider varieties he makes.

Though the barn still needs a lot of work, Hail plans to continue renovation work and eventually install distillery equipment in the barn.

He has a resident barn owl and plans to install a barn owl box to coexist with the bird.

Hail is also happy to have a location directly on U.S. Highway 12, as it makes it much easier for customers to find him rather than having to get off the highway to find his orchard in Silver Creek.

“Even if they see a sign that says it’s a mile off the highway, most people will say they don’t want to detour off the road,” Hail said.

With the space in front of the barn, Hail hopes to find a food truck looking for a location to move in, and also plans to rent out the barn for events and weddings.

“In the pasture, I’d like to do events and festivals,” Hail added.

One of those festivals he hopes to host is the Wassail Festival, an old English and Celtic festival  that involves a bonfire, singing and dancing in apple orchards to promote a good harvest in the coming season. Traditionally, it is held just after Yule and the Winter Solstice.

As for the ciders Hail is serving up at his new tasting room, he currently has six different varieties on tap, including the Chehalis, Gravenstein and Pear blend, the Wolfie blend, Winesap, the Hazy Hoppy Bitch, Bourbon Crisp and a cider called Some Like It Hot, which is made with ghost peppers.

The newest apple variety is one many believe is one of the first apples ever eaten from around the Caspian Sea in western Asia — the malus sieversii variety.

“They spread along the silk road and then you had malus orientalis and malus sieversii spreading into Europe, and then we started domesticating apples around the same time they were getting spread,” Hail said.

While the malus sieversii has been planted, Hail is waiting to see if it successfully survives in his orchard grounds and begins producing apples.

Currently, 3 Dog Cider and Brewstillery’s new Ethel barn tasting room is open on Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, follow 3 Dog Cider and Brewstillery on Facebook https://bit.ly/4bot10i or visit https://3dogcider.com/