The hard-cider trend is about to tap into Fort Worth.
Locust Cider, a Washington-based cidery, announced Thursday that it will open a cidery and taproom at 710 S. Main St., amid one of the city’s burgeoning hot spots. The cidery is expected to open in 2018.
Although it’s based in the Pacific Northwest, Locust has a deep Fort Worth connection: co-founders Patrick and Jason Spears are Fort Worth natives. Washington is considered the most competitive cider market in the United States, according to a press release, which notes that Locust was featured in GQ as one of the “best hard ciders” in 2016.
Washington state is known for apples (according to press materials, growers there produce 60 percent of the apples in the United States), and the Fort Worth taproom will get its crushed apples from Washington. But there also will be Texas-apple infused ciders, and the Spearses plan to use Texas-sourced ingredients including honey, cherries, vanilla beans and more.
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Hard cider is available on tap in several taprooms and restaurant/bars in DFW, as well as over the counter in some grocery stores. But in most of those cases, the cider is far outnumbered by the craft-beer offerings. Bishop Cider Co. has been operating since 2014 in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District, and it recently opened a related cidery/arcade called, not coincidentally, Cidercade in the Dallas Design District.
“Being the only cider in town, brings a new element to a growing and thriving craft beverage scene,” Jason Spears says in the release. “In some cities like Seattle, there are a dozen or more cideries, and hard cider is an everyday mainstream drink. Locust wants to open the world of cider to Fort Worth.”
The company’s website features such varieties as Dark Cherry, Original Dry, Sweet-Aged Apple, Honey Pear, Vanilla Bean and Smoked Blueberry. Things get ever-so-slightly more exotic with Chili Pineapple, made with ancho and aleppo chiles, and Thai Ginger. ABVs are in the 5-6 percent range.
Locust Cider will be in a “newly reimagined” 1940s building at the corner of South Main and West Leuda Street. The cidery will be the first tenant in the renovated property, owned by M2G Ventures, an urban commercial real-estate investment/development company led by twin sisters Jessica Miller Worman and Susan Miller Gruppi.
Construction is expected to begin in late 2017. The building has three ground-floor spaces, as well as second-floor office space. M2G’s plans include “a focus on chef-driven dining, [a] juice bar and artisanal retails, according to the release.