With more than 70 breweries in Dallas-Fort Worth, North Texans needn't look far for a local beer. But those looking for a locally-made cider have just two places to turn to: Bishop Cider Co. in Dallas and Outlaw Cider Co. in Grapevine.
That changes soon, however, with the opening of two new cideries in Dallas and Fort Worth. Double the cider, double the buzz.
The folks behind both Trinity Cider (now open) and Locust Cider (coming soon) see thirst for the beverage increasing and they're hoping to tap into the demand. Here's the skinny on both cideries coming to North Texas.
Located in a small, 1,000-square-foot space off Main Street in Deep Ellum, Trinity Cider specializes in dry ciders. Head cider maker, Josh Price, studied horticulture and viticulture at Texas Tech University before moving to Sonoma County and Napa Valley to produce wine. That's where he's been the last eight years, and all the while he was making cider at home.
Making cider is similar to making wine, except "it's more fun," Price says.
"With wine, you kind of only get to do it once a year, so it's always best to keep up your practices and knowledge," he says of how he got into home brewing. "The more things you ferment, the more problems you can find at home."
According to Price, many ciders on the market that are loaded with sugar and he's hoping to change the perception the beverage has to taste "like a flavored Sprite." Price ferments apple juice imported from Seattle with a champagne yeast that adds a dry aftertaste. He then circulates the brew through a piece of equipment called a hop rocket to infuse it with fruity or spicy flavors. Some recipes, such as Trinty's Deep Ellum Dry, have no sugar at all.
There are currently seven ciders on draft at the taproom in Deep Ellum, which opened Oct. 12, including the Deep Ellum Dry, The Final Rosé, a Cucumber-Habanero, Unholy Ghost pepper cider and Grow a Pear prickly pear, as well as two frozen recipes (pictured). Eventually, the cidery plans to can and distribute its ciders throughout the region. Until then, drinkers can buy pints and flights onsite, as well as take them to-go in growlers. And you may find some unusual experiments when you stop by, says Price.
"If you can think of a flavor, I can throw it in a drink," he says. "It may not always be a winner, but the trial and error is the funnest part."
- 2656 Main St., Suite 120, Dallas. 469-708-5444.
Brothers Jason and Patrick Spears graduated from garage home brewing hobbyists to cidery owners in 2015, when they opened Locust Cider in Woodinville, Wash. In the years since, they've opened two taprooms in Ballard and Tacoma, Wash., and soon, a second production facility will open in Fort Worth. (Its target open date is Oct. 24.)
What's enabled the company to grow so quickly?
"If you make a good product, I think that speaks more than anything," says Patrick. The rise in gluten allergies and the craft beer movement has also contributed to the interest in cider, he says.
The leap from the Northwest to the Lone Star State might seem random, until you hear the brothers were both born in Fort Worth. And though the family later moved out of state, they remain deeply connected to their roots here.
The space in Fort Worth inhabits 3,000 square feet and includes a production facility and taproom. Locust Cider currently makes five core ciders that come in cans, bombers and on draft. Its flagship brew is the Original Dry, a 6-percent ABV cider with citrus and pineapple notes. Its most popular, though, is the Dark Cherry cider, which is "still dry with just enough tartness," Patrick says.
As head cider maker, he's most looking forward to creating one-off recipes and experimental batches to be served in the taproom. Like Trinity Cider, Locust plans to can and distribute its brews throughout the region. If you're coming in, know it's a family-friendly environment with non-alcoholic sodas. There are also TVs for game day sports watching and growlers for drinkers to purchase cider to-go.
- 710 S. Main St., Fort Worth. 206-494-5968.