Congress Street is our beloved, signature IPA - and the first one we ever brewed! More than seven years after we first offered it to the public, we asked JC to take a few moments to reflect on the recipe’s intent and initial release back in 2013.
Q: Congress Street was, in many ways, considered to be the beer that put Trillium on the map. What’s the story behind selecting it’s signature, single dry-hop profile?
JC: There's not a singular story. While I knew that I wanted Trillium to be recognized for hop-forward beers, I couldn't get access to the distinctive, signature Australian Galaxy hop it would take to make the IPA that I wanted to present first. Hop contracts wouldn't be offered to us for a few years due to our lack of track record and small size. I was able to beg and scrounge together a few boxes and brew a couple of 10bbl batches in our first year, but not until after we were open for six months.
While Fort Point was the stake in the ground where we would start our hoppy beer program, I knew we only had one shot at setting our reputation on what Trillium’s IPA was going to be. It had to be Galaxy...bigger, more explosive than Citra, but still familiarly tropical, smooth, and unique. Distinctly different than what almost the entire world of hoppy beer offers at that time.
Q: Take us through the moments leading up to the first release day.
JC: We were ready to release the beer for growler pours and we took a sample from the tank...I was very much taken aback by its appearance. We had made the Citra-centric Fort Point Pale Ale a few times and it leaned moderately hazy, akin to a hefeweizen. This was probably twice that. Completely opaque.