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'Bawker Bawker' becomes Tucson's first cider house

Posted at 3:24 PM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 22:45:15-05

TUCSON, Ariz. -- While some businesses are closing for good during the pandemic, others -- like Bawker Bawker are opening their doors for the first time.

Here’s the "in-cider" scoop:

It is located at 400 N 4th Avenue in Tucson.

From its ciders, to its artwork, to how it got its name, Bawker Bawker is as unique as it gets. When you walk into Tucson’s first cider house, you’ll notice the 21 ciders on tap.

Then, if you look closely, you’ll see chickens and chicken feet leading the way inside.

Owners Don Rubino and his wife Jaimie Perkunas say, there’s a reason for that.

“I’ve been known to stand in the coop and hang out with the girls and they Bawker Bawker so you know, I chat with them,” Rubino told KGUN9.

“I’m like what did they have to say -- he’s like, Bawker Bawker,” added Perkunas.

So that’s how Tucson’s first cidery got its name.

Don Rubino has been making cider for more than 10 years. He says creating flavors is his passion -- ‘Bawker Bawker’ is a dream come true.

“I feel there’s enough breweries in town and we really love all the breweries, but we thought having a cidery in town would be a great addition,” Rubino stated.

If you were wondering if cider is just juice:

“It has alcohol. It actually has a pretty high ABV. We’re about 7.5%. We’re not just a sugary drink. We ferment everything to a dry place,” said Rubino.

“Right now cherry vanilla and nitro is one of our most popular ones. I would say our hibiscus is also really popular. The ginger pear is popular as well,” Perkunas told KGUN9.

The creativity doesn’t stop with the creation of flavors. In fact, it flows from the ciders on tap, to the artwork on the bathroom stalls.

“They’re gender-neutral bathrooms so they have a commode in three of the bathrooms and a urinal in one of the bathrooms,” said Perkunas.

As far as sales go, Rubino says he was a little nervous at first, opening an adult-only cidery, in the middle of a pandemic.

Though, given the foot traffic, he is pleasantly surprised.

<Sales have been going up every week and that’s really exciting. We went from three days a week to now four days a week and, you know, we’d love to be open five days a week or six.>

<We’re both really touched by how enthusiastic people are,” he added.

Their goal for the new year is to be on more taps in other locations -- Long-term, for their ciders to go worldwide.