Mass Appeal: A Boozy Quest to Define Our Turf's Terroir

Originally appeared here

by Aaron Kagan  |  July 11, 2011

Boston - Fort Point will soon be home to another brewery bent on making what brewer Jean-Claude Tetreault calls “native beer.” Tetreault is still in the planning phase for Trillium Brewing Company, which he hopes to open in late fall, but he’s been busy hunting for desirable microorganisms in orchards and vineyards in the hopes of taming a blend of wild yeast and bacteria that will produce a distinctly local brew. Though Trillium has yet to open its doors, his sample batches have received high praise. So what is the terroir of Massachusetts yeast? “It’s very, very early to say,” says Tetreault. “But from what I can tell, it has a more brash, bigger feel to it than the same types of beers that are made in Belgium.”

Then again, that could be the brewer creating the yeast in his own image. “It’s bigger; it’s more American. There’s more fruit character. It’s brighter. But maybe that’s just the way Americans started and have created that intuitively.” There’s what the yeast brings to the table, and then there’s what brewers do with it. Both have an impact on how the product will taste and how it might reflect the landscape.