Locust Cider & Brewing Co. has landed at 226 E. Main St.

The business known for its ciders, plus brews inspired by cider-making methods, has expanded from Woodinville, Wash., with its first Eastern Washington taproom.

The spot quietly opened last Friday in the H.H. Hungate Building on Main Street, introducing its array of core ciders and mix of seasonals, including honey pear, vanilla bean and watermelon, to name a few.

Formerly home to Studio Articolore, the space has been redesigned as a family-friendly spot with metal stools, wood floors, wooden bar, and a chalk wall highlighting the offerings of hard cider, cider slushies, craft beer and wine in cans. The menu features Uli’s Famous Sausages, including cider sausage, jalapeño cheddar, rosemary chicken, tofurkey and frankfurters.

Board games, retro video games, a pingpong table and a kids corner provide some entertainment.

The Walla Walla location kicks off an expansion plan to bring Locust’s cider to the masses directly. Other locations already operate in Seattle and Tacoma. New ones have opened recently in Boulder and Fort Worth and others in Washington are planned.

Locust Cider was started in 2015 by brothers Jason and Patrick Spears. Early this year, the brand expanded in partnership with Dirty Bucket Brewing Co. Joined together, it led to Locust Cider & Brewing Co. The beer part is inspired by cider-making methods for easy-to-drink, light-bodied beers, according to a description.

The cidery is designed to bring the best out of everyday apples, the company’s website explains.

Although Washington produces 60 percent of the nation’s apples, not many of them are cider-specific. So the hope is to use classic cider-making methods to accentuate the positive in state’s signature fruit.

“We begin with cull apples, apples that are too small, misshapen, or otherwise undesirable to grocery stores and use those as the base for most of our ciders,” the site says.

A portion of proceeds for all cans and bottles, plus membership club The Swarm, are dedicated to the Hydrocephalus Association. The organization’s mission is an important one to Jason and Rebecca Spears, whose daughter has the incurable brain condition.

Hours of operation for the new spot are 2-9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; noon-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and noon-8 p.m. Sundays.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at 509-526-8321, or on Twitter at

Vicki covers business and economic development, including tourism, the Port of Walla Walla and the Strictly Business column, as well as features. She has been reporting for the Union-Bulletin since late 2001.