Trillium Brewing Acquires Former Reebok Property, Plans Major Expansion

Trillium Brewing Company is expanding once again. The company today announced plans to open two new locations in the greater Boston area.

The popular Massachusetts-based maker of hazy New England IPAs will relocate its Canton brewery headquarters to a sprawling “forever home” about five miles away from its current facility.

The company will also open a comparatively tiny taproom and retail store in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston.

Speaking to Brewbound, Trillium co-founder JC Tetreault said the new production brewery in Canton would be located on a portion of the former 65-acre Reebok campus that was acquired by Spear Street Capital for $88 million last year.

“The first thing we will do is transition the front of house experience,” he said, noting that the company is already working on a plan to relocate its taproom and retail shop to the new property as quickly as possible.

Tetreault confirmed that his company had acquired a 19-acre section on Royall Street property, but he did not disclose a purchase price.

“Esther and I will continue to own 100 percent of Trillium,” he said, adding that the company is financing the land acquisition with debt and not bringing on new investors.

A restaurant with a patio could open on-site within the next year, Tetreault said, and the company will also relocate its offices to the new location in the near future.

According to Tetreault, Trillium will spend “the next few years” transforming an existing 140,000 sq. ft. building into a brewery campus that, in addition to the restaurant and office space, will include expanded beer production and barrel-aging capabilities, as well as consolidated warehousing and room for events.

“We think it makes sense to transition all of that into the new space,” he said, noting that the company still has five years remaining on a lease agreement for its property on Shawmut Road in Canton.

Currently, Trillium’s primary brewing and warehousing operations occur at disconnected facilities in Canton, as well as Avon and Taunton. According to the company’s website, the existing brewery and taproom span 16,000 sq. ft.

Nevertheless, the company said the process of relocating would not be a “grab-the-keys-and-go situation.”

“We’ll be gradually building out the space and moving our operations there in a stepwise function,” it wrote on the blog.

More immediately, however, the company has partnered with Samuels & Associates to open a 1,500 sq. ft. taproom and retail store near Fenway Park at a development called “401 Park.”

That space, which will include a 1-barrel brewing system, is slated to open later this summer.

“We are so excited to build two completely new destinations for our customers, creating a permanent home in Canton and establishing roots in a new neighborhood of Boston that we love,” Trillium co-founder Esther Tetreault said via a press release. “We have the opportunity to create spaces, learning from our growth over the last six years, to create a really great workplace for our team and a more fun and comfortable experience for our guests.”

Meanwhile, the company’s farm brewery project in Connecticut is still moving along.

Speaking to Brewbound, Mr. Tetreault said the company plans to open a 1.4-acre market garden on the property, which spans 163 acres, later this year.

“The intention was always to get our hands in the dirt this season, understand the master planning process and get the help we need to do things properly,” he said.

“We are working with a land-use attorney, as well as a farm consultant, and we will be searching for a farm director,” he added.

Last October, Trillium opened a restaurant and brewery in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston. It also continues to use its original Fort Point location for storage, and the occasional experimental brew on a 10-barrel brewing system that exists on-site.

Trillium is also hoping to reopen a seasonal beer garden on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston this year, meaning that at some point the nearly 300-person company will be operating out of nine different facilities (including its warehouses in Taunton and Avon).

“It sounds super-overwhelming, but we have a deeply experienced facilities team and operations folks that help us manage all of that,” Mr. Tetreault said.

Trillium made about 20,000 barrels in 2018, he added, noting that about 95 percent of it was sold directly to consumers.

The Tetreaults expect to be fully operational at the new Canton and Connecticut properties, which the company owns, in about five years.

When it is, Mr. Tetreault said Trillium could still be making roughly the same amount of beer it is today and selling nearly all of it directly to consumers.

“We are not interested in sending our beer all over the place,” he said. “We are focusing on making sure that the places we built and committed to having a great selection and that there is always something fresh.”

The company first opened in 2013, and recently celebrated its sixth year in business. Despite its success, Trillium has experienced some setbacks.

Last November, the company was criticized for paying retail workers as tipped employees, instead of a flat hourly wage. Two weeks after the unfair labor practice allegations surfaced online, the Tetreaults increased pay for 35 retail workers from between $5 and $8 an hour to an hourly rate of between $15 and $18, plus tips.

Also last year, an electrical contractor suffered severe burns while trying to repair equipment at the Trillium production brewery in Canton.

A press release with additional information is below.

Trillium Brewing Company Announces 2 New Forthcoming Ventures with Trillium Fenway and the New Trillium Canton

BOSTON – Trillium Brewing Company today announces two new forthcoming projects, Trillium Fenway and a relocation for Trillium Canton. Since founding Trillium in 2013, co-Founders Esther and JC Tetreault have stayed true to the mission of building strong communities through beer and creating destinations for people to celebrate life’s moments. Trillium Fenway and the new Trillium Canton are unique expressions, each enhancing and expanding the way that beer lovers can share and experience Trillium at the source.

“We are so excited to build two completely new destinations for our customers, creating a permanent home in Canton and establishing roots in a new neighborhood of Boston that we love,” said Trillium Brewing Company’s Co-Founder Esther Tetreault. “We have the opportunity to create spaces, learning from our growth over the last six years, to create a really great workplace for our team and a more fun and comfortable experience for our guests.”

Trillium Fenway is the company’s first project from the ground up, as part of the new development at 401 Park, originally a 1920s era Sears, Roebuck, and Company mail order store, in the heart of the lively Fenway neighborhood. The 1,500 square foot greenhouse-inspired venue, plus patio, will be open year-round, providing an open-air experience where guests can enjoy Trillium in a beautiful natural setting. Seasonal programming, including a winter skating rink, will be provided by real estate developer, Samuels & Associates. This new Trillium destination is set to open in late summer 2019.

Trillium’s new Canton flagship brewery marks a necessary and comprehensive evolution for the future, allowing the company to remain in Canton and establish permanent roots. With just under 140,000 square feet on 19 acres, the site will accommodate a production brewery and taproom that is more convenient and inviting for customers and employees. The consolidation of all operations under one roof will provide an exponential improvement in efficiency and functionality for Trillium’s team. The new location will feature a restaurant, outdoor patio and event space. The timeline for the debut of Trillium Canton is currently in development.

Visit Trillium’s blog at www.trilliumbrewingcompany.com and follow @TrilliumBrewing on social media channels for the latest updates.

ABOUT TRILLIUM BREWING COMPANY

Trillium Brewing Company is a family owned and operated brewery launched in 2013 and has been internationally recognized and regarded as one of the top breweries in the world. Trillium is a New England farmhouse brewery, using local ingredients whenever possible and utilizing both traditional practices and modern re-invention, such as brewing with the seasons and producing styles that speak to the region. For more information, please visit www.trilliumbrewingcompany.com.

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