Barrel & Flow is a three day in-person and virtual event celebrating Black artists, musicians, brewers, and collaborators
Trillium Brewing Company opened its new “Forever Home” location in Canton, just a stone’s throw away from Blue Hills Reservation, in the beginning of July 2021. One of the features of the new space is a restaurant and kitchen fit with wood fired pizza ovens, which lends itself to fresher menu options and aids with special ingredients for particular beer recipes.
Trillium’s relation to the land and passion for food is apparent in multiple aspects of the company, including but not limited to its dining in Fort Point, where they partner with local coffee roasters, bring in vegetable boxes from their farm in Connecticut, and engage other philanthropic approaches to “environmental sustainability” and fostering “healthy food systems.” The ovens are in full-use cranking out pizzas with various toppings during their restaurant service Thursday through Sunday, and they have also recently been put to use to bake bread for a special collaboration beer with Brockton Beer Company.
“This idea mainly came about from our conversation with JC and the team at Trillium and fostered through our ongoing conversations [and] getting to know each other,” the team at Brockton Beer told the Dig. “As we shared our experiences through real conversations, it felt like we were ‘breaking bread’ together. JC was like, ‘Yeah man, let’s brew with that.’ As we explored the idea, they were already excited about baking bread in their new Canton location, so we went with it. For us, breaking bread is a real cross-cultural symbol of our collective intentions to eat, drink, and have meaningful conversations.”
Brockton Beer is co-owned by four men of Haitian, Puerto Rican, Filipino, Canadian, Jamaican, Trinidadian, and Mexican heritage, all of whom bring their unique backgrounds to the ever growing craft beer industry. Their beer is available at the performance and art venue PROVA! in central Brockton and in select retailers, and they’re working on building a taproom next.
This is not the first collaboration for Brockton Beer, but it’s a particularly special one. The joint venture with Trillium is a Double IPA made with local stone-milled flour and the aforementioned baked bread, which was fermented with both sourdough and beer yeast culture. The beer is brewed specifically for the Barrel & Flow festival in Pittsburgh and is planned to be released in September.
“It’s our hope that this beer symbolizes shared, human commonalities while respecting and learning about each other’s perspectives,” said JC Tetreault, co-founder of Trillium.
Barrel & Flow is a three day in-person and virtual event celebrating Black artists, musicians, brewers, and collaborators.
“Festival-goers can expect the unique collaborations and energetic live entertainment that has become synonymous with our name,” said Melanie Dione, director of engagement for the festival. (Ed note: The author of this article is an event assistant for this year’s Barrel & Flow.) “That is what we have done from day one. But this is the year we solidify our place as a force for good in a much larger community through things like our ‘art+biz’ initiative as well as upholding our commitment to accessibility by making the virtual component of our festival permanent.”
Speaking about the opportunity in Pittsburgh, the Brockton Beer team said, “The concept around economic empowerment for Black communities flows right in alignment with our core values around community and representation. With this being our first festival as a business, it felt like a natural fit for Brockton Beer.”
JC of Trillium added, “We are honored to be asked to participate in this year’s Barrel & Flow Fest. The opportunity to collaborate with the team at Brockton Beer has been incredible given our shared vision and efforts for community and sense of place. When we were discussing what to brew together, we knew we wanted to offer something that could achieve the kind of excitement and enjoyment that we always strive for, but take a deeply intentional approach that represents the contextual purpose of Barrel & Flow and the resulting conversations that this opportunity deserves.”
The Barrel & Flow website and app includes an international Black brewery directory, plus a marketplace, tickets, and more information about the festival in Pittsburgh this September. You will be able to find Trillium and Brockton Beer’s baked bread IPA locally, so keep an eye out.
Samer Khudairi is a freelance journalist who covers design, music, action sports, and craft beer. His name means the person who tells stories at night. Samer abides by the mantra, 'live all the lives. love all the peoples.'