Spiked seltzer is the official drink of summer 2019, but that didn’t stop a new cidery from opening its doors in Boulder. Locust Cider & Brewing Co. started pouring 15 flavors of hard cider at its east Boulder location earlier this month.
The Boulder location of Locust marks owners Jason and Rebecca Spears seventh taproom and the second outside of their home state of Washington (the other outpost is in Fort Worth, Texas). While the pair currently dwell in the Pacific Northwest, they have both called Colorado home at various points in their lives and always knew they wanted a Centennial State branch.
All 15 of the ciders flowing at Locust’s new taproom are brewed onsite with apples brought in from Washington. This is not abnormal; while a few local operations, such as Haykin Family Cider, have opted to focus on Colorado-grown apples, most local cider makers bring in whole fruit or apple juice from the Pacific Northwest. Jason has developed deep relationships with growers in Washington, where nearly 60 percent of the country’s apples are grown. “We always use a blend of multiple apple varieties for consistency,” he says. “We mostly buy bruised, small, or misshapen fruit from packing houses.”
Locust’s shiny new taproom, outfitted with a polished concrete floor and beetle kill pine bar, will hold a special appeal for those who fancy fruity flavors. The cidery offers a rotating selection of specials that highlight seasonal produce, such as watermelon, strawberry-vanilla, and lavender. The Spears are currently formulating a maple cider for the fall.
During a recent visit to the taproom, almost everyone at the bar was sipping Locust’s off-dry dark cherry variety, which has a red wine-y color and sweet-tart flavor thanks to Washington bing cherries. Other staples include the vanilla bean, a sweet cider that drinks like cream soda with five-percent ABV, and semi-sweet honey-pear.
While you’ll have to travel to the east Boulder taproom for glasses, flights, growlers, and cans, Locust plans to begin distributing select SKUs of its canned ciders soon so you can enjoy them elsewhere—because we could all use a break from White Claw.
If you go: In addition to ciders, Locust also offers a few food items, including cider-infused sausages made specially for Locust by Seattle-based German butcher, Uli’s Famous Sausage.
Tuesday–Friday 4–9 p.m., Saturday–Sunday 1–9 p.m. (closed Monday); 5446 Conestoga Ct., Boulder, 303-356-8151