Saturday, April 28, 2012

A New Brew in Fort Point

Finally all of our artist prayers have been answered!  BEER is coming to town. FPAC caught up with the folks (Jean-Claude & Esther Tetreault) from new Fort Point brewery, Trillium.  Jean-Claude shares the secrets of his craft below and why Fort Point will be Trillium's new home.

FPAC:  How did you decide on the name Trillium?
JC:  I'm a bit of a botany nerd, in addition to being a beer geek, so I’ve actually loved the trillium flower for quite some time. The flower, an American woodland wildflower, symbolizes what we are trying to achieve in our beers. Ephemeral beauty, balance, and a sense of place.  

These beers are what we envision might have been made today, if a centuries old beer culture had naturally evolved in New England.” 

Of course, its not yet possible to source all of our ingredients from a local source, we do this as much as possible. We feel that using ingredients that are characteristically and naturally American, grown, harvested and gathered as close to the brewery as possible, we can really embody the 'farmhouse' notion that we are striving to achieve, which can be a little tricky in an urban setting such as Fort Point. So, until we can build a brewery on some farmland ourselves, that means working with companies like Valley Malt, Buckle Farm, Four Star Farms to source local grain, malt, fruit and spices...and we're even growing some of our own hops on my uncle's farm. We're sourcing neutral wine barrels from places like Saltwater Farm Vineyard (where Esther and I were married) and Jonathan Edwards to age some of our 'wild' fermented farmhouse beers. We're really excited for the first lot of spent spirit barrels to come available from Bully Boy and Grand Ten, two new Boston distilleries. We're even working on culturing and nurturing fermentation microbes natural in the air around us to develop a truly unique and local beer

FPAC: What made you decide to move to Fort Point?
JC: Finding relatively affordable, small scale, light industrial space in greater Boston is really tricky. We're competing with Biotech/Pharma and other companies that command a very high price per square foot, which originally didn't have us considering any Boston zip codes. We were initially looking in places where some other breweries have recently cropped up (ie. Chelsea, Everett), but when a lease fell through at the last second at a location in Everett, a colleague of our real estate agent knew of a spot worth exploring on Congress street in Fort Point that met some of the criteria we had laid out. The space was in pretty rough shape, but had some solid bones. The seemingly endless opportunity of Fort Point was sort of a 'no duh' part of the decision. My good friend/designer and I looked at the place, squinted really hard, and developed a vision for what was possible.  We knew we were in for the long haul with the zoning variance process, so we had time to roll up our sleeves to clean out the years of rust, dust and debris. Just looking around, we knew were were in a very special place, and will hopefully be part of the continued revival of this little part of Fort Point. The immediate rush of support from Friends of Fort Point, FPAC, Greentown Labs, and countless residents and businesses has energized us through this very arduous process of building a brewery. The welcoming experience has been pretty unbelievable, considering it happened before folks even had a chance to try our beers!

FPAC: Will the new brewery be doing public tours?
JC: Due to the small footprint of the space and the inherent space, cost and liability limitations that would be needed to allow the public in to a manufacturing/production floor; we won't be able to do a true walk-through type of tour. We will, however, have an attached retail space that will have a partition wall framed with reclaimed windows (from the demolition of 319A street) that will allow visitors a vantage point to see the production floor, the brewhouse, fermentation vessels and wooden barrels (and maybe a busy brewer or two!).

FPAC: Brewing is an art craft all its own.  What is the process? (For those of us who are not up on our Hops and fermenting)

JC: Yes, brewing is a craft, for sure...and has nearly limitless opportunities for creativity and expression. But, the basic process for brewing beer is fairly straightforward. Beer is made of water, malt/grain, hops and water. The brewer will crush malt (which is simply grain that has been sprouted and kilned) and mix it with some warm water. The warm water will dissolve the starches and proteins in the grain to make an oatmeal like mixture. The warmth of the water activates the enzymes naturally present in the grain, which break down the starches in to various kinds of sugars. Once the starches are converted to sugars, the brewer will then rinse the grain with more warm water to get the sugary liquid (call 'wort'...pronounced 'wert') out, which then gets transferred to the boil kettle. The wort is heated to a boil. The brewer will add hops at various points in the boil. Hops are the resinous flower of a really incredible plant. Depending on the kind of hops and when they are added in the boil, the brewer can contribute to hops-contributed bitterness, as well as characteristic aromas/flavors of floral, spicy, citrus, fruit to the finished beer. When the boil is completed (usually somewhere between 60 and 90minutes), the brewer will rapidly cool the wort down from boiling to ~60-70F and then add a culture of yeast. Beer yeast is a unicellular organism that can consume the sugars in the wort and turn it in to alcohol, carbon dioxide and a myriad of flavors and aromas that can turn a sugary, malty, hoppy liquid in to the amazing thing we know as beer. This is known as fermentation, and can take anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the type of beer and fermentation microbes that are added. We'll then package the beer in to kegs or bottles. There are some beers will then be served immediately, as they are enjoyed as fresh as possible, while that really need some time to condition to come in to their own after quite a bit more time. Once the beer leaves the brewery, we hope that the experience of beer will be enhanced, not only by the right glassware or food pairings, but most importantly the friends family it is shared with and moment in which it is enjoyed.

FPAC: How many beers does Trillium currently produce and what is your favorite?
JC: Oh, we have dozens and dozens of recipes that we have already brewed. There are probably hundreds more that are swirling around our heads, but haven't made it to the kettle yet. We plan to focus a good percentage of our production on 4 core brands, but will also have a steady stream of small batch releases...there are just too many different kind of beer we want to make to limit ourselves.  If you follow our facebook and twitter account, you'll see hints of what beers we have in store as we tweak and improve recipes on our pilot brewery. 

FPAC: With the craft beer craze that is sweeping New England, how does Trillium hope to stand out from the rest?
JC: We couldn't be more excited about the incredible rebirth of brewing and beer culture in Boston, New England and all across the country. Craft brewing is an increasingly crowded but still a relatively small segment of the overall market. Ultimately, we strive to make beers that are truly memorable and world-class. We hope to reach a balance in them that appeal not only to the hardened beer geeks, but also to folks with a burgeoning appreciation for better beers

FPAC: On your site you talk about the local artisans who help collaborate with Trillium to help enhance your craft. Any future plans for Trillium to team up with some local artists?
JC: Absolutely. Gabrielle Schaffner and I have had a few exchanges where we discussed all the different collaboration/inspiration opportunities there could be. We're excited about the possibilities here, so stay tuned via FPAC for more on these opportunities in the coming months.

FPAC: When is the expected move in date?
JC: Oh, we've been banging away at our 369 Congress Street location since January 2011. Most of that time has been spent waiting for community hearings, the zoning variance hearing/approval and the building permit, which we finally received in February 2012. If you've walked by recently, you'll continue to see some big changes to the exterior; there's an equally dramatic change going on in the interior as well. There are loads of things that can (will) go wrong, but we're really hoping to brew our first batch of commercial beer toward late summer/early fall of this year.

Log onto to learn more!

* All Photos courtesy of Trillium Brewery

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Your Neighborhood Shines! - Community Cleanup

An enjoyable way to meet your neighbors and get outside to do some gardening. The neighborhood cleanup is on Saturday, April 28th. There is a Friday planting for local businesses and those who can't make the Saturday cleanup.

This year we are doing an expanded vines planting-(lots of interesting blooming vines and flowers) with options for local companies to adopt tree circles and vines panels. Jennifer Amadeo Holl has done a great job working with Southie trees, who have donated $200. for much-needed mulch.  Charles Joesph and neighborhood angel Danielle Pillion have spent a lot of time helping to organize the event this year.

The party will be at Wormwood Park and set up is at 4:30. Food and refreshing beverages will be donated by local restaurants and shops as usual. We are meeting in Wormwood Park at 10 AM. Sagarino's has offered a free drink (coffee or a cold drink) and a muffin. Just mention you are doing Shines for your tasty treat!  Barington's is also providing coffee for those on the other side of the neighborhood.

Lot F Gallery Presents Bits

Opening reception: Friday, May 4th, 2012 7:00pm to 11:00pm

DJ set by Alan Manzi


A study of the smaller things in life. Featuring the works of Bob Conge, Todd Robertson and William Long; Bits will be comprised of mixed media paintings, collage, prints, sculpture and toys. The idea that everything in our world is made from many components is the basis for the show. These everyday components align and form themselves into bigger and most times different forms. For example our bodies are comprised from cells, although the human body does not resemble a cell. Bits will also examine individual toys and how they group together to form a collection.

While it has been some 4000 years in the mak­ing, if you believe the backstory, PLASEEBO was finally founded in 2004 as a shop dedicated to creating unique one of a kind collectable figures and Ultra Limited editions. 

“I remember, as a young boy, my most prized possession being a small box in which I kept colorful or uniquely shaped stones, butterfly wings, bird’s feet, dried flowers, a skull I had carved from wood, a small red plastic A-Bomb, and a wavewashed piece of deep blue glass. This first collection was a micro cosmos of my world at that time.” 
-Bob Conge of Plaseebo. 

Whatever the direc­tion or medium of expression, the drive is to bring to life a personal vision in the form of a new figure, hence the tag line, “PLASEEBO / its not what you think”.

Todd Robertson grew up around toys from birth, having a father that was an avid toy collector and hobbyist. Todd has developed various multimedia techniques on canvas, which he later applied to sculpture and toys. Discovering the collectable toy industry combined with his love for robots led to the development of the ‘mecha’ style he uses today. Todd approaches the mecha concept as if it was a virus encapsulating each individual piece. It might be an arm, a leg or half a face, the mecha virus can be manipulated endlessly. Lately Todd has focused on Kaiju Toys, incorporating the Mecha Virus, airbrush paints and sculpting.

William Long graduated from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2009, and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. He comes from a family of artists and musicians. With an interdisciplinary approach Will expresses romanticism of the urban landscape. Charged explosions of energy and speed creates context for his works. He organizes and selects his materials and mediums, building and layering to create details that pull the viewer in. Will creates relationships between inside and outside spaces, alluding to motion in space.

Join us for the opening reception at to view these artists Bits, as a whole.

Refreshments will be provided

 Opening reception is on Friday, May 4th, from 7 to 11pm.  All works will be available for purchase on the webstore, following the opening. 
Exhibit runs until Friday, May 25th and will be open by appointment after reception. 
Please contact us at, for pre-sale information.

Call for Short Films and Animations

Hear ye’ Hear ye’, Glovebox announces the call for films for the 2012 Glovebox Short Film & Animation Festival that will be held on August 4th, 2012 at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square.  Artists of all shapes and sizes are encouraged to apply IF their film is under 25 minutes.  What’s that you say?  You have a music video?  YES we accept!   You’re a student?  GREAT - you’ll receive a discount entry fee AND you will be judged with the rest of the herd. Students, consider yourself “babied” no longer.  This is a juried festival by the elite of the elite who look down and judge you.... honestly.   I know, it’s hard for us to grasp too.  So in the name of getting something done this year, submit your hard work and reap the rewards!

Log onto:

Submissions end June 1, 2012
Entry Fee is $30 ($20 for students)

The Glovebox Film Festival is sponsored in part by Pretty Things Beer, Dig Boston, and the Somerville Theatre.  Looking to help support?  Contact for opportunities.

About the Glovebox Film Festival: The Glovebox Short Film and Animation Festival began in 2011 as a platform for film artists and animators to exhibit their work.  the festival received rave reviews from the community, prompting Glovebox to make it an annual event.  Attracting over 300 visitors and  including over 50 northeast artists from Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and New York, the one day event is an opportunity for all to learn about the artists in their community.  Inspired by the Sala Mont Juic festival in Barcelona Spain, the festival encourages the shared collection of films through minimal cost to the public.  To learn more about the festival, log onto

About Glovebox:  Glovebox is a non-profit organization that enables artists to exhibit their work in non-traditional spaces in the Boston area. Started by Fort Point resident, Jodie McMenamin and Brooklyn babe, Liz Comperchio.  We have two objectives: to increase awareness of artists and their work and to improve the accessibility of art. Glovebox achieves these goals by bringing together artists and the public to form a collaborative, educational community. Our methods range from the individual, such as helping artists to exhibit their work, to the collective, in which we have organized group exhibitions, film festivals and fund-raising auctions to raise money for fellow non-profits with humanitarian missions.

Friday, April 13, 2012

ARTWALK! May 11-13

Art Walk features more than 75 artists opening their studios in Boston’s Fort Point. Pick up a map at any of the participating building and explore the studios of painters, jewelers, ceramicists, photographers, sculptors, textile artists, and more. Talk with artists in their studios and discover new works and treasured favorites. Visit Fort Point’s art galleries and creative design shops. Explore Boston’s changing Fort Point neighborhood and see the unique waterfront warehouse district that is one of New England’s largest and oldest arts communities. Enjoy the opportunity to purchase works of art and fine craft directly from local artists. Art Walk will be held on Mother’s Day Weekend, making it the perfect place to shop with or for your family.
During Art Walk, brief artists’ talks, demonstrations, performances, and special events are scheduled throughout the weekend. A full list of talks and demonstrations will be available online.

Floating Art in the Channel: In conjunction with Art Walk, FPAC presents Heidi Kayser: The RemodelingProject. The Remodeling Project is a performative micro-environment that investigates ideas of public versus private activities in daily life, shared ideas of home, and boundaries between social and personal identities. Throughout the month of May, a small floating platform located between the Summer Street and Congress Street bridges will become a home base for an evolving narrative of constructed reality. The Remodeling Project and Fort Point’s Floating Art Series is supported by the generous support Friends of Fort Point Channel. More information can be found online.

Studios are all located within a three-block area, a short walk from T and commuter rail at South Station in downtown Boston, and the Silver Line Courthouse stop. Art Walk is self-guided: maps and directories will be available at our information booth at the corner of A and Binford Streets and in all participating buildings. Locations of studios and galleries include: 15 Channel Center, 25 Channel Center Street, 249 A Street, 319 A Street, 300 Summer Street, 347 Congress Street, 346 Congress Street, and 12 Farnsworth Street.

Free parking will be available in the Central Parking Lot directly across from 249 A Street, thanks to Gillette/P&G and Central Parking.

May 11, 2012 4pm-7pm
May 12 & 13, 2012 12pm-5pm
Admission to this event is free.
For more information and details go to or call 617-423-4299