Trillium Brewing Company - December 2014

Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by MattOC, Dec 1, 2014.

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  1. Brian_Burke

    Brian_Burke (0) Feb 1, 2014 Massachusetts

    Yikes! Same here. I did go into the site successfully about an hour ago. I'm hoping it means they are updating it with some positive news.... (an optimist...)
    bahnfire likes this.
  2. Brian_Burke

    Brian_Burke (0) Feb 1, 2014 Massachusetts

    Site is back up. No change that i can see...
  3. Nickfellow007

    Nickfellow007 (0) Feb 22, 2011 Rhode Island

    Site is back up and has an all caps info box stating the tasting room is now closed.

    As everyone has gathered, it seems to have been a license renewal issue. Surprised they'd let something that important get by them. Guess we'll see.
  4. patrickcmcd

    patrickcmcd (0) Dec 25, 2010 Massachusetts

  5. Brian_Burke

    Brian_Burke (0) Feb 1, 2014 Massachusetts

    yeah, down again for me, too. Must have just popped up for just a moment. NickFellow, that all caps message is the one that has been displaying all week, so no change there. ok, going to stop reporting on all the ups and downs. Getting seasick... :-) Will wait for real news and hope for the best for them...
  6. jason_taverner

    jason_taverner (0) Dec 9, 2014 Massachusetts

    made an account here just so i could share what i learned. i contacted the abcc to see what i could find out about the outcome of the hearing. details were scant, but it certainly sounds like it was about a license renewal. i spoke to ralph sacramone, the excecutive director, who said he couldn't give any information about the hearing and that sometimes these things are resolved in a day, sometimes in a week.

    i didn't get the sense that ralph was on the same page as me, so, being a boston resident, i also contacted my city councillor, matt o'malley, to both impress upon him how valuable i thought trillium brewing was to the city of boston as well as express my concern that the abcc may not be prioritizing this issue correctly. i explained that any action he could take to help rectify this situation would be greatly appreciated by not only me, but many of his other constituents and other residents of boston as a whole. his secretary seemed quite receptive to the call and promised that matt would call me back tomorrow.

    i'd recommend any other boston residents make similar, respectful calls to their councillors and/or the mayor's office. why do we elect local officials, if not to help resolve situations like these?
    jbeizer, Pahn, Mikeynas and 16 others like this.
  7. MNPikey

    MNPikey (0) Feb 27, 2011 Minnesota

  8. jdauria

    jdauria (0) Sep 15, 2010 Massachusetts

    If it is as simple as a lapsed license, I wonder why Trillium would not just come out and say that? Where the ABCC is a public agency, I suppose someone could (hint, hint) ask for copies of any documents related to the hearing undet the Freedom of Information Act. Technically you could have attended the hearing too, as all meetings of all boards in government are open to the public.
  9. jason_taverner

    jason_taverner (0) Dec 9, 2014 Massachusetts

    here's the page that explains how to make a public records request in massachusetts:

    however, they aren't obligated to reply for 10 days (that's probably 10 days from when they receive the request in the mail) and fulfillment of the request may come with a price tag.

    i still think appealing to your elected officials, preferably local boston officials (but, failing that, state officials), is a more effective route. if you go here and enter your boston address, you can find the phone number for your city councillor, as well as your neighborhood's liaison to the mayor's office:

    be polite and earnest in your intent to find a speedy resolution to this matter that satisfies all parties!
    Pahn likes this.
  10. JCTetreault

    JCTetreault (0) Mar 19, 2008 Massachusetts

    We’d hoped to have resolution before making a statement, but feel like we need to shed some light.

    Our 2014 license renewal application was never processed. Nobody was aware of this fact until recently, the timing of which was unfortunate given the holiday. We’ve provided all documentation and complied with every request. We had a hearing today to approve or disapprove our 2014 license. We haven’t received a decision yet.

    The reason we haven’t responded to rumors until now is because we honestly didn’t have all the information up front, and didn’t want to fuel any fires. While the issue is pretty simple, it’s also quite serious. Everything is when dealing with the government. We didn’t feel that the situation could benefit from social media and, to be honest, it’s painful enough to live through not to mention continue talking about it every day we’re closed.

    While we’re incredibly appreciative of your desire to help, please don’t contact the ABCC or the City of Boston. We are hopeful and confident that the ABCC will respond fairly and we’ll have a positive outcome as soon as possible. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate the support, and we’ll desperately need it WHEN we reopen, but right now we don’t want anything to jeopardize our business, our lives, and the future of Trillium for us and our 10 employees who’ve been out of work for 2 weeks.

    We both hope to see you and thank you for your support as soon as we’re able to open our doors. You’ll know the second we do! (Oh, and our website went down because of a massive flow of traffic! Thanks for all of you concerned enough to check in.)
    Cheers, Esther & JC
    nickmantia, Jaycase, hopley and 61 others like this.
  11. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO (390) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    My growler was feeling pretty lonely. Good luck with the license, see you when you reopen!
    stonermouse and JCTetreault like this.
  12. ChrisMyhre

    ChrisMyhre (0) Sep 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    Good luck with all of this.
    willrun4bier and JCTetreault like this.
  13. Jbrews

    Jbrews (0) Aug 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    Predicting hours of lines and beer running out instantly if and when they open back up, which is a good thing. But will be VERY hard to get! good luck!
  14. MattOC

    MattOC (435) Jan 13, 2013 Massachusetts

    Great news and good luck. Hopefully we'll see you sooner rather than later. In the meantime we'll be waiting...

    MarkJC1018 and JCTetreault like this.
  15. bluehende

    bluehende (0) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware

    So good to see this is a technical matter. I will definitely be there when I hit Boston. And I will spend a few more dollars than is prudent. Of course I usually do. Hang in there. Look at the Alchemist and Irene situation and know things get a lot better.
    willrun4bier and JCTetreault like this.
  16. muzzy

    muzzy (0) Apr 1, 2013 Massachusetts

    Looking forward to stocking up...and hopefully soon! Thanks for the update.
    JCTetreault likes this.
  17. Danger

    Danger (0) May 31, 2013 Massachusetts

    Glad to hear it might be resolved soon. I'm totally opening my last bottle of Fort Point now that I believe there will be more in the future.

    I'll definitely be there the day you folks reopen.
    JCTetreault likes this.
  18. ChrisInBaltimore

    ChrisInBaltimore (0) Aug 25, 2014 Maryland

    JC: Thanks so much for the post; there were quite a few of us anxiously waiting for an update. Here in Baltimore we are thinking of your business and wish you nothing but the best. Please let this community (the Beer Advocate Community, not Baltimore) know whatever we can do to help. Your beers truly are amazing and we can't wait until you reopen. I am sure that us buying the beer once this is resolved wont be a problem, I only hope that by my next trip to Boston in January the lines will have subsided!
  19. PhilDicarlo

    PhilDicarlo (0) May 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    Good luck JC. Probably pretty smart keeping us rabid customers out of it. Too tempting to call abcc to be supportive but would be counterproductive. I know I'll be there within days of opening to stock up big.

    This is a speed bump that will soon be forgotten. Now get this done, heavy mettle is up soon!
  20. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO (390) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    I know I was planning to slam a bottle of Congress St. and call ABCC to let them know what I think. I'm wicked persuasive after a few beers.
  21. hybernaut

    hybernaut (0) Jan 5, 2011 Massachusetts

    Looking forward to filling my growlers as soon as possible! See you soon, JC, Esther, Paul, Will, and everyone else!
  22. stonermouse

    stonermouse (0) Aug 16, 2006 Massachusetts

    If this truly is a pure administrative eff up on the part of the state, then shame on them. What a goddamn embarrasment. Small businesses make this town cook... MA has no friggin respect for small business or the impact their over-regulation has on their bottom lines. Dammit I'm pissed.
    jrnyc likes this.
  23. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack (0) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts

    Just to play devils advocate - doesn't the business have some responsibility to know whether or not they have a valid license? I don't know how the mechanics actually work but I would think it involves the business receiving a license / confirmation that all is good.

    IOW I would think its partially on Trillium to know whether or not they were in compliance - just like I should know whether or not I have a valid drivers license
    a74gent, jstout26 and stonermouse like this.
  24. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO (390) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    Despite the comments from the anti-government fringe of BA, I would think most of us recognize that Trillium has plenty of responsibility on this issue. Unless, of course, there was some sort of clerical issue at the ABCC that was at fault. I'm guessing it was a bit of both. Regardless, once they get it sorted out, good beer trumps paperwork snafus!
    jstout26 and VonZipper like this.
  25. DucRacer900

    DucRacer900 (175) Aug 13, 2013 Massachusetts

    My 12 growlers are ready....
  26. pehodges

    pehodges (0) May 25, 2013 Massachusetts

    Without knowing the facts, it's really inappropriate to go off on a rant blaming Trillium or the ABCC or secret government hit squads. JC's comment that the "renewal application was never processed" is marvelously diplomatic at not assigning culpability or blame, so it's best to ride the same high horse in our reactions. Let's hope this gets straightened out quickly without undue consequences. (But on the other hand, to advocate having the ABCC rubber stamp their license application without the same due process afforded all applicants just because Beer Advocates like their beer is absurd.)

    The list of 2014 MA licensed farmer breweries is interesting, beyond Trillium's absence. I couldn't help but compare the list to my browser bookmarks of MA breweries.
    All the caveats before I get accused out falsely accusing anyone of anything:
    1) Breweries could be licensed as "farmer brewery" (most of the craft breweries) "manufacturer" (the big boy- currently only Sam Adams, Wachusetts and Berkshire) or "pub brewery" (for which I can't find the ABCC 2014 licensure). Some of the breweries missing from the Farmer Brewery list may be operating as a pub brewery (obviously CBC, John Harvard, The Tap, Gardner Ale House, Beer Works, et al.)
    2) Some of the breweries I've bookmarked aren't operating (defunct, haven't launched yet, or I screwed up).
    3) Many breweries are licensed under one corporate entity but do business under another name (e.g. Vineyard Brewing Company dba Offshore Brewing). I think I found most of those, but could have missed some.
    4) I have no idea what the licensing requirement is for breweries that contract brew at an established (licensed) brewery (Clown Shoes, Portico, Pretty Things, Notch, et al.).

    SO...the list of MA breweries not appearing on the 2014 ABCC licensed Farmer Breweries or Manufacturers:

    3 beard
    battle road
    beer works
    big elm
    cambridge brewing co
    down the road
    high and mighty
    john harvard
    opa opa
    pretty things
    wandering star
    #186 pehodges, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  27. pehodges

    pehodges (0) May 25, 2013 Massachusetts

    Because this isn't newsworthy. Facts have been slow in emerging (but iif an ABCC decision is rendered that would be newsworthy and have sufficient facts to report). All that has emerged to-date is that Trillium was shut down because they have been operating for 11 months without an ABCC license, and people on Beer Advocate are upset because they can't get beer. First world problem.

    IMHO, Gary Dzen is out of his depth reporting on beer or doing investigative journalism, but is an excellent hockey commentator.
  28. JCTetreault

    JCTetreault (0) Mar 19, 2008 Massachusetts

    Yes, it is certainly our responsibility to ensure this occured.
    Deshaies, Pahn, jefffalcone and 2 others like this.
  29. jomobono

    jomobono (310) Mar 12, 2012 Massachusetts

    You don't need a Farmer/Brewers License if you contract brew.
    F2brewers and Guzzle_McBrew like this.
  30. Andrew041180

    Andrew041180 (0) Mar 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    Thanks for the responses - it's great to have this information. I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I've been really looking forward to a growler fill of Trillium... not the brewery, the farmhouse ale that everyone else seems to have forgotten.
    jbertsch likes this.
  31. Guzzle_McBrew

    Guzzle_McBrew (0) Feb 17, 2014 Connecticut

    This is very interesting information indeed.
  32. dwmetsfan13

    dwmetsfan13 (295) Jul 22, 2013 Massachusetts

    Pretty crazy that they were only ~6 weeks away from going all of 2014 without a license...I wonder what would have happened if 2015 rolled around and they got appropriately licensed
  33. MistyS

    MistyS (0) Dec 4, 2013 Massachusetts

    Looking forward to visiting again when you re-open JC & Crew!
    JCTetreault likes this.
  34. rknrll

    rknrll (0) Jul 13, 2009 Massachusetts

    Guessing their 2015 renewal wouldn't have gone too well since they aren't listed on the renewal page to get the form. That could be how this became evident to the ABCC in the first place.
    #194 rknrll, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  35. ducktrapper

    ducktrapper (0) Feb 18, 2014 Massachusetts

    Best wishes, JC & Esther--I'll be back when you are!
    FrankLloydMike and JCTetreault like this.
  36. Jbrews

    Jbrews (0) Aug 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    Looking forward to another fun anniversary part at the Publik House in 2015!
  37. Auror

    Auror (0) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts

    3 beard - Brewed at Paper City
    backlash - Brewed at Paper City
    banner - Brewed at Brewmaster's Tavern
    barrington - Brewpub
    battle road - Brewed at Mercury
    beer works - Brewpub
    big elm - Big Elm is dba for Black Sheep Brewing
    brash - Brewed at Mercury
    brewmasterjack - Brewed at Paper City
    cambridge brewing co - Brewpub/Brewed at Mercury
    clownshoes - Brewed at Mercury
    cody - Brewed at Mercury
    down the road - Not open yet?
    gardner - Brewpub
    high and mighty - Brewed at Paper City
    hopster's - Brewpub I'd guess
    john harvard - Brewpub
    lamplighter - Not open yet.
    medusa - Not open yet.
    naukabout - Brewed at Thomas Hooker
    notch - Brewed at Mercury/Two Roads
    nowhere - Not open.
    opa opa - Brewpub / Brewmaster's Tavern
    pioneer - Brewed at Rapscallion (Looks like Rapscallion bought Pioneer and uses its old brewery at same location)
    portico - Brewed at Mercury (used to be Watch City)
    preference - Brewed at Paper City
    pretty things - Brewed at Buzzards Bay
    slumbrew - Brewed at Mercury (but soon their own brewery?)
    tap - Brewpub
    trillium - Oops.
    wandering star - ??
    #197 Auror, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  38. jbertsch

    jbertsch (630) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Wandering Star runs their own brewery...I think passed by it when it wasn't open
  39. bluehende

    bluehende (0) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware

    I would like to give big kudos to JC for handling this unfortunate situation as an adult. Balls were dropped everywhere and the consequences were not fun for JC or his employees. With this however, he has never blamed anyone but themselves. He didn't go on a rant against government or anybody. He knows people are just doing their jobs and is working as hard as he can to rectify the situation and go on with his business. We should all support any business that conducts itself in such an ethical manner.
    FrankLloydMike and bkabak like this.
  40. el_bishop

    el_bishop (0) Dec 10, 2014 Massachusetts

    . . . Been a big fan since I found Trillium by accident a year or so ago. Been in there multiple times per week since then. Glad to hear that this is likely to be resolved soon. I showed up five mins after they closed the Wed before Thanksgiving. Fantastic place and people. Let's be sure to buy a lot of beer and tip the staff well when they get open again.
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