It seems like a new brewery opens in New England every month, to the point that you can easily lose track of all the local beers. This rapid expansion of craft beer has created a competitive marketplace, where the brewers are vying for tap lines, shelf space and customer dollars. Local breweries have taken different tactics to stand out, from advertizing, marketing and social media to brewing limited release beers to starting loyalty clubs. While these strategies can help, in my opinion the most important thing a brewery can do to create buzz is to brew amazing beer. That seems kind of obvious, but it can be easier said than done. It is certianly eye-catching when a local brewery can be in business for a year and already achieve such a devoted following that a weekday bottle release results in lines down the block. Demand that exceeds supply and lines out the door seem to be commonplace at Trillium Brewing Company in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston. While the brewery location is pretty awesome, the key reason for the enthusiasm around Trillium is the consistent high quality of their releases. When I decided to review a series of saisons this Spring the inclusion of Trillium’s signature Farmhouse Ale was a no brainer. This was made even easier by the fact that Trillium now releases their flagship beers in 750 mL bottles in addition to draft lines and growlers at the brewery. Trillium Farmhouse Ale is a saison brewed with barley and wheat malt, Columbus and US Goldings hops and Trillium’s Farmhouse blend of yeast.
Trillium Farmhouse Ale pours straw gold, slightly cloudy with a solid white head that leaves nice lacing on the glass as you drink. The smell is an aromatic mixture of floral hops mingling with estery and spicy Belgian yeast. The yeast also comes through strongly in the taste, with touches of pepper, green apple and pear. There is significant hop flavor that nicely complements the yeast, adding pine and earthy notes. Despite the hop flavor the beer isn’t overly bitter. There are some malts in the backbone that add to the complexity, including a little added kick from the wheat. The beer is very light bodied and easy to drink, at 6.5% ABv it is about average for the style. The finish is very clean, with just a hint of spice left on the tongue. This beer is one of my favorite saisons, extremely well balanced, intricate and full of flavor. Very highly recommended! Hoppy Boston score: 5.0/5.
Previous Trillium Reviews: