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Coffee hard cider: The Northwest's next big drink?

The Gig Harbor businesses behind the strange brew. #k5evening

GIG HARBOR, Wash — Two totally Northwest ingredients are coming together in Gig Harbor. 

Apples and coffee. Combined in cans, at Locust Cider.  

It was inevitable really, since the Locust Cider production and canning facility is just a short walk down the road from the Cutters Point Coffee roasting facility. When Locust Cider's head cider maker Eric Smith had the idea to collaborate with their neighbor to make a 'cold brew cider,' Locust's founder and CEO Jason Spears wasn't sure. 

"Well, I trust Eric he's got a great palate so I assumed it would be good, but I was skeptical," he said. 

Locust has been fearless about flavor since it started in 2015, making ciders with everything from cucumber to dill.

And Cutters Point Coffee was all in. 

"We were very excited to partner with them," said Cody Payne, Cutters Point Coffee COO. "He proposed a coffee cold brew based cider. And our first thought was, 'Yeah let's go!'" 

So Eric got the coffee and began brewing. And after a bit of trial and error, this happened.

"He brings it to me me and is like you gotta taste this," Spears said. "I tasted, and said, 'This is ridiculous. So good.'"

"Yes, I've tasted it," Payne said. "It is delicious."

Two things you should know, first, Locusts Cold Brew Coffee Hard Cider is a seasonal, limited edition release that just became available in February, 2023 so when it's gone, it's gone. Second thing, it doesn't look like coffee.

"That's what I'm hearing the most is how come it's not dark? The honest answer is it doesn't need to be," Smith said. "The coffee that we're using has a really rich profile and that flavor carries a long way without having to use a lot of it. If we were to use a lot more then you'd get the color but you'd also get some off flavors that would be distracting from the cider."

Try this new brew, or any Locust Cider, and you'll be contributing to a cause that's personal for this family business. Spears explained the phrase that's written on all of their boxes: Buy a can, stop a brain surgery. 

"Since day one we've given money to the Hydrocephalus Association," he said.

 Jason's 8-year-old daughter was born with this incurable brain condition, and so far Locust has raised 100 thousand dollars in the hopes of someday finding that cure. One can at a time. 

Locust has deep local roots but they're not afraid to branch out — they've got taprooms in Colorado and Texas, and distribution grows every day. 

But this coffee flavored hard cider that may give mimosas a run for their money as the next big brunch beverage could probably only happen right here in the Pacific Northwest.

KING 5's Evening celebrates the Northwest. Contact us: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email.


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