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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Liberty Ciderworks moving tasting room to downtown location

By Virginia Thomas Journal of Business

Liberty Ciderworks plans to move its tasting room and facility to a 7,000-square-foot building near downtown that it will share with a design-build architecture and construction company.

Rick Hastings, head cidermaker and co-owner of Liberty Ciderworks, said he expects the business will move in January to 217 E. Third Ave., across the street from Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest.

“We see good things on the horizon for the area,” Hastings said.

Lumberbeard Brewing LLC, which opened in late 2019, is located a half-block west of the site.

“Being in proximity to Lumberbeard, there’s some synergy there that we might be able to tap,” Hastings said.

Liberty Ciderworks currently occupies 3,300-square- feet of space at 164 S. Washington, about a half-mile west of the planned taproom building.

Hastings said Liberty Ciderworks will triple its space with the move.

“We need a lot more production space than we have,” Hastings said. “We have a tiny taproom, and we’d like to expand that too.”

The tasting room on East Third Avenue will have a covered patio, he said.

Liberty Ciderworks currently has nine taps. Hastings said the new location will have a few more, including a couple of guest taps for ciders made by other cideries.

Liberty Ciderworks is building a kitchen in its new taproom space.

“We’ve never had a kitchen before, so we’re … trying to figure out what to include,” Hastings said.

Much of the menu likely will consist of handhelds such as panini sandwiches, he said.

“We haven’t decided yet on the menu, but it will definitely be an opportunity for people to enjoy cider and have some nice food options to choose from to complement their beverage,” Hastings said.

Liberty Ciderworks co-owner Ben Pratt said the two-story building, which previously was occupied by private lender Cogo Capital, is being renovated by the cidery in partnership with design-build company Copeland Architecture & Construction Inc. at a cost of $240,000.

Pratt said he and his wife Jaime, who is sales manager and co-owner at Liberty Ciderworks, formed Third Draft LLC with Copeland partners Austin Dickey and Jeff Fountain to purchase the building in April.

Some walls are being constructed to split the structure into two distinct spaces, as well as creating offices and a conference room on Copeland’s side of the building.

The design-build company will occupy 3,900 square feet of office space on the second floor of the building.

Interior demolition work has begun.

Hastings said the design-build team expects to receive construction permits for interior renovations soon, and that Copeland hopes to occupy the building as early as August. Copeland currently is located at 121 W. Pacific Ave., downtown.

Because Copeland owns some construction equipment, it needed a warehouse space.

Hastings said Copeland and Liberty Ciderworks will share a 3,600-square-foot warehouse adjacent to the main building.

Copeland will occupy about a third of the warehouse.

Liberty Ciderworks will occupy the remainder of the space with cider-making equipment, including rooms specially built for fermentation and for making ice cider, a sweet cider higher in alcohol content.

Liberty Ciderworks has five employees, Hastings said.