When Locust Cider first opened in Woodinville, it had just one tank in use. As the years have passed, the business adapted to large-scale production in an effort to fit the needs of cider drinkers across the nation, according to Rebecca Spears, vice president of marketing.
And now another expansion that will allow for new experimental flavors and more space for tasting is in the works.
This summer will feature two big projects: a new production facility in Gig Harbor and an update to the Woodinville Cidery and Taproom. Moving the production space away from Woodinville will allow for the existing taproom to reopen with a refreshed look, Spears said .
“We'll still have several tanks in Woodinville, but we will be doing a lot more with small batches and interesting flavors,” she said.
According to Spears, Locust Cider has simply outgrown its production space in Woodinville. The company will be moving into the building previously used as Heritage Distilling Company’s original flagship distillery. With this move, Heritage Distilling Company is also expanding production at its new Tumwater facility.
“Our canning has outgrown our Woodinville space,” said Jason Spears, CEO and founder of Locust Cider. “And this new facility will give us the room to grow and the space we need to keep improving quality and variety while also implementing some new technologies that will make us better.”
By removing the production materials, the Woodinville site will become a small-batch cidery with opportunities to crush apples onsite, barrel-age and bottle specialty ciders. Spears, who's married to Jason, said people can soon bring in apples themselves to press and ferment. She is excited to craft a more funky and creative cider-making experience.
The big move to Gig Harbor will start at the beginning of June, she said. Once the canning and kegging supplies are removed, they will be re-laying out the Woodinville taproom. With expanded seating, there will also be room for private events, tours and outdoor lounging.
“Our hope is that we'll do some fun cider making classes,” she said. “Literally, people can bring in their apples and press them. It's just a fun way to teach people about it.”
Once the tanks are out of the way, construction of the renewed space will begin. Spears predicts the updated Woodinville location will be open to guests by the middle-to-end of summer.
“This is where we started, and we're staying,” Spears said. “We don't want anyone to be concerned because we're definitely not moving. Woodinville will still be the same heart and soul. It's our flagship, so it will continue to be that way.”