Waiting For it All to Start

Whether you’ve just found out about trillium, or have been reading the increasingly geeked up stuff over at the homebrewing blog over the past few years, we’re glad to have you along.  I’m sure I’ll keep nerding it up from time to time, as opening a brewery, even a small one (7bbl, or ~210 gallons/batch) like ours, isn’t short on opportunities for that.

Due to some city of Boston zoning and permitting hurdles we need to clear before we can start building the brewery, we’ve had quite a bit of time since the initial rush of finding trillium’s home and signing the lease in January ’11. It’ll still be another month or so until we’ll be able to swing hammers, so we’ve used our time wisely, but it sure has been tough waiting for it all to start in earnest.

I’ve been able to do a ton of research on how to best stretch our investment dollars and to choose where to spend the limited monies first. We connected with some brewers out in the small brewery mecca of Portland, OR and they hooked us up with a brewery equipment fabricator that a few friends have already had the pleasure of firing up and fermenting their first beers in.

I’ve been able to find some good sources for local wine and freshly emptied rye bourbon barrels to be re-used for our barrel aged sour beers program. A really fun find were some big (400 and 1000 gallon) bulk storage milk tanks from a farmer out west. The free, nearly new 10ft x 10ft cold room took the edge off of losing our first intended leased space in Everett at the last minute.

In one of my many not sleeping , so I might as well do some brewery planning while I’m lying here nights, even remembered the heavy gauge stainless tank ‘o the woods Pop had hidden away in the pine tree foliage 10 years ago for…well, ummm, he never did have a good use for it (until now, of course). Think I could use that stainless tub for something funky? Yeah, probably.

We were forced to move our hops from the fenway victory garden when I couldn’t side step the ‘must be a boston resident’ rule any longer. We planted a few sustainably grown trillium rhizomes in my parents woodland garden…and had our Portland brewery friend send us inspiring pictures of their mature trillium flowers from their garden to show us what we were in store for in a few years.

We’ve had the pleasure to meet Andrea and Christian of valley malt, brew some test batches with their fine wares. We’ve recently become inspired by the olfactory focused indie hops…and hope to be able to grow more than a few transplanted hops on a family farm of our own soon, too.

We’ve seen the flare up of the 19C farmer brewery license issue come…and go, throwing in our two bits along the way.

We’ve been welcomed warmly by the Friends of Fort Point and and the MA Brewer’s Guild. Connected with Jason before greentown was greentown. Hanging out with the entrepreneurial lot while we set up our small pilot system there for recipe formulation/sample production has loads of fancy, fun ideas swirling around.

We’ll talk about those when the time is right, but I’m always pleasantly surprised how something like the shared appreciation for great beer can spark new uses for old ideas and create, improve and build. Funny how I can always find a way to bring the conversations back full circle to developing ideas for making more great beer, of course.

I’m not entirely sure where we’ll end up taking this bit of cyber space. But people seem to love great beer, and we love to talk about it, so I think we’ll mostly stick to that.

Cheers, JC