My Date With Trillium

Of all the New England breweries getting us Brits hot under the collar right now, Trillium must be leading the charge. Based in Canton, Massachusetts – just outside Boston – they also have a teeny tiny shop in Boston-proper doing growler fills, takeaways and the obligatory merch. I had a little time to kill before leaving the city so I plodded over to see what I could get.

Lining up in Seaport

“Shit, those suckers are in a big queue for something” thought I, as I trotted through the Seaport District. Locals will solemnly inform you that just a few years ago this whole area was nothing, and then they will tell you to now look at it. It’s true, it must have been quite the transformation as now this is ‘hip’ Boston with clubs, restaurants, craft beer bars and a swanky cool Yotel complete with rooftop bar.

“Oh… who knew?” I then thought as I realised it was the queue for Trillium. Like any self respecting Brit who sees a queue I joined it and soon learned that today they were launching Macaroon, a limited edition addition to Trillium’s highly prized range of stouts. People had come from far and wide but I think my journey from London was the winner, although I couldn’t honestly claim I had a clue this would be going on.

One of my queue friends was en route to the in laws, who were also craft beer lovers, and 2 bottles (there was a 2 bottle per person limit) of Macaroon would win him major Brownie points. Another was adding his 2 Macaroons to a thus-far complete collection of Trillium stouts with a view to making several thousand dollars when he decides to put the whole lot up for sale. And then there was the chap and his 3 year old son who were supposed to be at the park but dad had figured a quick swing by Trillium for the new release wouldn’t hurt, but the line was way longer than ever before and his wife would know if he hadn’t taken Jr to the park, so if this line didn’t move soon he’d have to duck out. It didn’t move soon, and he didn’t duck out.

Almost in

An hour and half in line and I was in. The tiny room had space for 4 people to be served at a time so a doorman was supervising the one-in-one-out policy. During the wait I had been looking at the beer list online so that I wouldn’t seem like a complete newbie. So much beer, only 2 hands. Needless to say I overdid it – beyond my 2 Macaroons I got 2 bottles of Fated Farmer Blueberry Sour, 4 cans of the double dry hopped Melcher Street (big IPA) and 4 cans of the Permutation Series: Number 32 – another IPA. Uber for Mr Seeksbeer please!

Back in Surrey I finally got to start sampling the delights of Trillium and I have to admit I can see what all the fuss is about. 2 of the best American IPAs I have ever had came back in my suitcase with me. Hearty, hazy, west coast style. The Number 32, my favourite of the 2, was almost all mangoes – like drinking a lassie but at 9.2%. Amazing hop work. The Melcher Street was more complex and also delicious: smelled like passion fruit, that grassy fresh flavour and then back to fruit for the aftertaste.

Not just the Trillium… SOUVENIRS!

Finally for the Macaroon. Genuinely, I cannot believe my good fortune to have been in Seaport at that time to get my hands on it. It is no longer in production. Not for everyone, Trillium have really pushed a line between dessert and beer here. Low bitterness, this is all about flavours of molasses and coconut. It is sweet and thick as engine oil so you almost want to drizzle it on ice cream or serve it after dinner when you’re out of Baileys. At 12.3% that might not be a bad idea. I loved it – a delicious beer that expounds the best of craft brewing creativity.

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