Trillium Brewing

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IMG_6668It’s interesting how some breweries get things right and others get them wrong.  Trillium Brewing, a small entity that dominates the arguments as Boston’s best, began downtown in a tiny strip of a building which allows just enough room for people to squeeze in for bottle purchases and growler refills. 

It makes sense that Trillium would grow elsewhere, and I suppose Canton, MA makes sense.  I’m not from around there.  I might prefer restoring a historical building within easy access, but a nondescript office/warehouse tenancy in the burbs probably has pricing and headache advantages, not to mention access for those who escape the urban congestion.

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Still, with breweries expanding like weeds, there are enough like kinds to borrow an original idea or two… like building a destination.  This doesn’t mean that they have to reach for a megavenue like Harpoon, but whatever is chosen should reflect their own personality.  For most brewers, this coalesces into trappings that invite people to enjoy a couple hours, taste the beers, and engage socially… with decorum that says something about the brand, from corporate to kitschy.

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Trillium’s motto must therefore be interpreted to be “functional and efficient.”   Enter.  Enjoy four free 2-3 oz. samples in plastic cups.  Please proceed around the corner.  Purchase your refills and bottles. Thank you for coming!  Essentially, let’s make the lines easier than our downtown location and let people have a taste as they’re passing through…  a surprising lack of imagination.

Those four samples were as below, with Big Sprang a fill-in for Scaled.  These rank a tidy 91, 87, 93, and 92 on BeerAdvocate.    

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Weird though.  My daughter and I both agreed that the first three were worthy only of a “Meh,” with Launch Beer particularly an underperformer.  It put me in doubt for the 8 bombers I’d accumulated through a Christmas gift and purchases that day.

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Happily, I’ve now had two of those, Vicinity and Double Dry Hopped Melcher Street, both IPAs which were excellent (and graded 97’s).  I don’t trust BeerAdvocate other than using it as a starting point, but the other three samples wouldn’t have graded an 85.  So there seems to be a hometown curve among voters as the beer isn’t distributed further than shouting distance.  Okay, I exaggerate a little.

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Or, maybe it was just a down day, as I narrowly missed getting Artaic, their most highly prized IPA, where I suppose their imagination counts most.

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