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Three cideries open, one moving, one closing in Tacoma, Pierce County

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The hard cider world keeps expanding in Pierce County. Today, I’ve got three openings and a move. Unfortunately, I’ve also got a cider tasting room closure.

LOCUST CIDER OPENS IN GIG HARBOR

The Gig Harbor tasting room for Locust Cider officially opens Dec. 16 with a grand opening ceremony from 3-8 p.m. (If you see the tasting room open before then, that was the soft opening). 

As I told you earlier this year, Locust’s tasting room in the Sixth Avenue neighborhood stays put (it opened in 2018). This is a Pierce County expansion, not a move.

The new Gig Harbor space is opening at 3207 57th Court NW in the former Heritage Distilling original location (and 7 Seas operated there before that). 

Locust has grown at a fast pace and now operates a production facility, plus tasting rooms in Woodinville, Redmond, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Vancouver, Spokane and Walla Walla.

“We’ve needed to right size our production, honestly,” said Rebecca Spears, who operates Locust Cider with husband Jason, earlier this year. 

The Gig Harbor expansion gives the company twice the production space as it has at its Woodinville production facility. 

The cidery is known for its heritage apple ciders, its dry ciders and its bold and unusual flavors such as smoked blueberry, Thai ginger, mojito and watermelon.

The Gig Harbor tasting room opens with 14 taps. 

INFO: 3207 57th Court NW, Gig Harbor; https://www.locustcider.com/


MILL HAUS CIDER CO. OPENS IN EATONVILLE

In case you missed my story last month, Mill Haus Cider Co. in Eatonville opened in early November. The grounds are quite a catch for East Pierce County. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find more beautiful indoor-outdoor spaces at a venue of this kind anywhere in Pierce County. Here’s a photo gallery of what you’ll find at the sprawling grounds of Mill Haus Cider Co. 

The outdoor spaces will be a must-visit this winter. Equipped with fire pits and propane heaters, it’ll be as comfy as al fresco dining gets in the Northwest during winter.

The cidery serves a menu of smoked meats – built on tacos and slider rolls – and kid-friendly fare. That’s right. This cidery welcomes kids. Also, the indoor taproom, with plenty of space for parties large and small, hosts live music performances on a small stage tucked into the corner.  

As I wrote last month, Mill Haus Cider Co. has been bottling since 2017 and this is their first tasting room space. The opening is phase one of a few phases that will eventually include a larger pub and kitchen and eventually a distillery. For now, traverse the gorgeous indoor-outdoor space with a menu of smoked meats that are prepared on site in side-by-side wood pellet smokers located just outside the back door. The tasting room is right in the middle of Eatonville.

INFO: 303 Center St. E., Eatonville; 253-487-7065; https://www.drinkmillhaus.com/


Discovery Cider Co. in Tacoma. Photo courtesy of Discovery Cider Co.

DISCOVERY CIDER CO.

Remember the old upstairs bar space at Stonegate on South Tacoma Way? Discovery Cider Co. intends to open there the first week of January, if all goes as planned. The Main Ingredient Pizzeria recently exited the downstairs space, but that’s not where the cider tasting room will operate. Discover Cider Co. will be located upstairs with the main entrance off the alley, said co-owner Brennan Sandstrom. 

Previously, the cidery operated out of Sandstrom’s home and was called Tin Hat Cidery. “We actually got our liquor license and opened up our cidery in our garage back in 2020. Had a small tasting room that my wife and I run as sort of a side business. I am in the military full time and my wife is a nurse so we were open and working in the evenings and weekends. Being a home business, we weren’t allowed to hire employees to help so that was a large consideration when deciding to expand,” he said. 

He added that having a cidery in a residential neighborhood in South Tacoma was tough for future expansion plans. “More people and cars were starting to become a problem,” he said.

Enter: The space at 5419 South Tacoma Way, Suite B. There will be seating for 40 and the tasting room plans to be open Thursdays through Sundays. 

The menu will feature the same ciders that were produced under the Tin Hat label.  Sandstrom said he is looking forward to sharing the cidery’s raspberry, blackberry and blueberry pomegranate ciders. Watch their social media for opening details

INFO: Discovery Cidery Co., 5419 South Tacoma Way, Suite B; 253- 273-9849; https://www.facebook.com/tinhatcider/


CIDER & CEDAR MOVING TO NEW LOCATION

The Tacoma cider tasting room is not a cidery, but it specializes in serving ciders from a number of regional and Washington-based cideries. The Tacoma business announced last week that it is moving to a new home in Tacoma after only one year in its current home. 

Co-owner Mia Daughenbaugh, who runs the business with partner Sterling Paradiso, posted a video where she explains that the decision to move the bar was made to save the bar. As Daughenbaugh noted in this video, “our current location is not safe.” She details troubling acts of crime they’ve witnessed and experienced. She noted in the video that she’s hopeful a new location will feel safer to the tasting room owners and their patrons. 

They’ll be moving to the former home of American Tavern, which closed earlier this year at 744 Market St., Tacoma. 

The tasting room is known for its broad cider tap list and exquisite charcuterie boards. They’ll have a final closing party Dec. 17-18 at their location.

INFO: Current location at 612 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma. Next location at 744 Market St., Tacoma. https://www.facebook.com/ciderandcedar/ 


GRIT CITY CIDERWORKS CLOSING 

Grit City Ciderworks announced that it is closing its Tacoma tasting room after one year in the Hilltop neighborhood at 1016 Martin Luther King Jr Way. The nano cidery specializes in small-batch ciders and is owned by husband-wife team Kelsey and David Horne. Kelsey Horne cited nearby construction and the pandemic for the closure. 

“But between COVID, followed by the Sound Transit construction virtually shutting down Hilltop, we cannot remain open. Right now, we don’t have concrete plans to reopen, but we’re leaving the door open for future plans and projects. David’s hard work and incredible cider shouldn’t go to waste! So we’ll be sure to let you know if/when we have future plans,” said Kelsey Horne.

They’ll be open for one final party on Sunday, Dec. 18. Read more here

INFO: 1016 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Tacoma; https://www.instagram.com/p/CXXIPUevOiW/


MORE CIDERIES TO KNOW

In case you’re trying to organize a cider tour, here are more you should be sure to check out: 

Cockerell Cider is in downtown Puyallup and is the county’s only estate cidery with orchards and a tasting room. Be sure to check out their rotating list of visiting food trucks. 

Fierce County Cider is tucked into an industrial building in Puyallup’s South Hill. The cidery’s gin-gin cran tops my list for best cider they make, but I do have exciting news. Tolena Thorburn, the cidery brewer, just told me that they brought their seasonal Everything Nice back in November and Everything Naughty should be available soon, if not already. Be sure to grab a taste of those if they’re still on tap when you visit. Here are more details about the cidery. They also feature a regular rotation of visiting food trucks. 

Incline Cider House is one more to visit in Tacoma. That tasting room is just around the corner from Camp Colvos, the brewery and pizzeria.

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