This town has no shortage of local breweries, all of which offer tasty beers and hoppin’ (ha!) taprooms. Or so I’ve heard. Due to dietary restrictions, I’ve never really gotten to enjoy what any of those places offer, so when I first heard a cidery was coming to town, I had high hopes that I’d be able to jump from outsider in this city’s popular brewery culture to in-cider. (Haha!)
So far, I haven’t been disappointed by what Locust Cidery and Tasting Room is bringing to the table.
Started by a couple of Fort Worth natives in Washington state in 2015, Locust Cider recently opened an outpost here in the Fort, offering a wide variety of dry and off-dry ciders. Even if cider isn’t really your thing, the menu changes regularly, so they’re bound to tap into something you’ll like eventually.
The space itself is smaller than you might think a working cidery would be, and it benefits greatly from warm-weather days, when staff can open up the place’s industrial garage door and let the seating spill outside. The interior has an almost-too-rustic feel to it — a cement floor and exposed duct work are fine, but the bar, tables, and some of the walls are all unfinished wood, and there are cans and barrels of cider stacked all over. At times, it feels like you’re hanging out in the storeroom of a Spec’s.
It’s easy to look past all that, though, when you walk up to the bar and finally order a pint from Locust’s relatively small selection of ciders, which are all made on the premises. Or better yet, try a flight, which allows you to discover what your favorites are before you commit to a full glass. Cider can be filling, so it’s also nice to have a small taste before you get too full to try any more.
Some varieties –– like the original dry, honey pear, and dark cherry, a standout of lip-smacking tanginess and just the right amount of sweet –– are always on offer, while the rest of the menu rotates every week or so. Just in the last couple of months, Locust has shown off a spectrum of seasonal varieties that appeal to the Texas market, such as watermelon, mojito, grapefruit, and, just in time for the holidays, mulled spice (which can be served hot if you like). I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the watermelon flavor, which was subtly infused into the original dry to produce what is sure to be a patio pleaser when spring rolls back around. I was less impressed with the vanilla bean cider, which tasted a bit too much like cream soda, a drink that I hate.
Two throwback Nintendo systems sit tucked along a side-wall, again surrounded by cans and barrels. I imagine those small touches will keep people coming back again and again. The vibe is overall family friendly, with plenty of games of the analog variety to keep the kids busy while the adults partake of a pint or two.
Signing on as an early adopter to the new South Main Village has thus far turned out to be a good bet for Locust. Nearby Four Sisters – A Taste of Vietnam has been open a few weeks now, serving authentic Vietnamese food, and Locust’s neighbor, board-game lounge Game Theory, recently hosted a joint event with the cidery. It’s becoming easier and easier to make a night of it over there — after a day of visiting the many breweries nearby. As long as Locust is on the itinerary, I’ll be glad to tag along.