Cidery coming to downtown OKC

Published Friday, December 28, 2018
by Molly M. Fleming

When Tim King encouraged Luke Hadsall to start making cider, Hadsall said he wasn’t thrilled with the idea.

“I didn’t like cider,” he said.

Hadsall had been brewing beer for about 12 years and King had been making cider for about four years. The two men combined their talents to create beer-inspired ciders.

Since 2016, they’ve been slinging cider around the state at different festivals. They’ll open downtown Oklahoma City’s first cidery and taproom, OK Cider Co., in spring 2019 at 705 W. Sheridan Ave., the former location of The Plant Shoppe and Okay Yeah Co.

OK Cider Co. first debuted its ciders at the 2016 Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival. They brought one beer and six ciders. It was the ciders that caught people’s attention.

Hadsall said he’d introduce the beer-loving crowd to the product by having them try the pale-ale beer. The same hops are used in one of the ciders.

King said a lot more people liked the cider than he expected. While their friends and family said it was good, the attendees’ responses were astonishing. King and Hadsall spent half the night rebranding and returned Saturday at the festival.

“We got such a good response,” Hadsall said.

OK Cider Co. spent most of 2017 traveling the state trying to spread the word about its products. They also caught the attention of investors, who are helping to fund the equipment and the build-out at the 5,600-square-foot building.

There’s a $25,000 GoFundMe fundraiser to get money for taproom construction and its interior design. With a GoFundMe campaign, it’s not a make-or-break situation like Kickstarter. The money donated to the campaign goes straight to OK Cider Co. Depending on the donation amount, people can get glassware to help make cider one day.

Hadsall and King have also pitched in their own money. King said he works multiple jobs now and he hopes to work full-time at the cidery by 2019’s end.

“I’ve put all my savings into it,” he said. “I’ve pulled some of my retirement money. I’m not worried about it though. I’ve started from scratch before. I can do it again.”

The cidery will have 12 taps attached to a 1946 Dodge pickup truck. There will be a place for children to play and a large patio.

Core4 Brewing is moving into a small space in The Paramount building, so people will be able to visit both places and park in the same lot. Hadsall said they plan on working with Core4 to bring in food trucks.

OK Cider Co. also plans to collaborate with other breweries to make different brews or ciders. The U.S Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau requires that ciders have 100 percent juice, though they can use other brewing ingredients like hops. But the juice requirement makes the product more tolerable to people with a gluten sensitivity.

That’s why King started making cider in the first place. In 2012, he was diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity.

The cidery has four core offerings: a Saison-style called Ceison, a Belgian-blonde called Fruitee Monkey, an English style called Naughty Apple, and a pale ale called Hop…(transition). Hadsall described the ciders as semi-dry to dry and not overly sweet.

Once the taproom opens, then OK Cider Co. will start putting its product in kegs for restaurant delivery, with a goal to start canning by fall 2019.

King said he still can’t believe that the cidery is coming together. He’s worked multiple jobs his whole life, so when he can finally report to the cidery all the time, that’s when it will feel real. He said they’d like to start their own orchard so they can use Oklahoma-grown apples.

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