Summertime puts people all over the world in a good mood, but in New England, the shift from spring to summer is a very particular cause for celebration; it means we get to fully emerge from hibernation without fear of late-stage snowstorms, pack our cold weather clothes away in eaves, throw on shorts, and for a brief period of time experience what it’s like to live in a warm weather climate, a’la California or Texas (which just reminds us why we live in New England in the first place). We trade jeans for shorts, go on hikes to embrace the fresh air, retire our remote starters, and fix up our decks after scraping away layers of paint while shoveling powder.
We also seize the opportunity to appreciate our favorite local beer gardens, because outside of a ski resort, we wouldn’t be caught dead throwing one back while knee-deep in slush. (Exceptions probably apply, but they’re likely exceptions that prove the rule.) When you spend a majority of the year indoors, sheltered from the cold, you tend to develop a reserve of gratitude for chances to enjoy the out of doors, and on balmy summer days, there aren’t many better ways of showing that gratitude than by kicking back at a beer garden sipping a pint of your favorite craft brew, soaking in the sunlight while luxuriating in the aroma and taste of the craft beer industry’s best seasonal offerings – especially those produced by the best breweries in New England at large (and Massachusetts in the specific).
This summer is particularly enticing, because it marks the opening of Trillium Brewing Company’s Garden on the Greenway, a spot roped off on the Rose Kennedy Greenway along Boston’s waterfront, which unsurprisingly happens to present craft beer lovers of all stripes with an embarrassment of riches: A view of Boston harbor nestled in a truly gorgeous organic park landscape to offset the noise and grind of the area’s commercial traffic, plus a rotating assemblage of top notch food trucks, and of course Trillium’s beer, which ranks among the finest you’ll imbibe in the Northeast. (Perhaps that goes without saying; we at Paste tend to like their beverages quite a bit.) If there’s a negative here, it’s that the line for entry ranges from minimal to protracted, but it moves quickly, so you won’t end up wasting precious minutes standing in queue. Besides, the reward is worth the wait.
The Trillium Garden comes to us a little over a year after the company opened their taproom about a half hour south of Boston in Canton, a community that only barely qualifies for “large town” status. It’s a seemingly small addition to Trillium’s burgeoning brand, considering their designs on moving out of their digs in Fort Point and expanding into a new two-floor joint with a taproom of its own, but expand is exactly what successful breweries do. Not all of them are able to put their stamp on their home city’s bustling urban sprawl with such a quintessential element of a beer lover’s summertime.
Take a look at the gallery and see Trillium’s new downtown Boston beer garden for yourself.
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On tap for today: Hoppy, frosty goodness, plus a stout.
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From front to back: Upper Case, Cutting Tiles, Big Sprang, and Pocket Pigeon.
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Pours like orange juice; looks like orange juice; tastes way, way better than orange juice.
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Full disclosure: If you don't care for beer, you can taste wines from Westport Rivers Vineyard on the Greenway instead. But c'mon: You're here for the beer.
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Foreground: Beer. Background: The arch of the Boston Harbor Hotel, on Rowe's Wharf.
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Trillium Brewing Company's founders, JC and Esther Tetreault.
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The garden gets crowded on weeknights, and, well, every night, really, but being elbow-to-elbow with craft beer lovers is never a bad thing.
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The line to get in ain't ever short, but it's always worth it.
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Calm on the Greenway before the garden is up and hopping.