Drinking for Charity

Dan McCloskey, June 20, 2013

It's a Saturday afternoon we've been anticipating for quite some time. My home brew partner and I are getting together for the private unveiling of the latest batch of 21st Century Schizoid Ale, our high-octane signature brew.

It's been a full three months in coming due to various factors, not the least of which are the several-stage process and longer fermentation time required to produce a high-alcohol concoction. But, also because of the responsibilities of home ownership and parenting, and not to mention the day jobs.

Because we like to enjoy other brews besides our own, we decided my pal would pick up a growler of Trillium Brewing Company's OneBoston IPA on the way to my place. Based on the name of the beer, I probably don't need to tell you where the brewery is located; and assuming you follow current events, you can probably guess it's a special brew.

Due to some serious hurdles the city makes brewers clear in order to operate, Trillium is one of only three breweries within the actual city limits of Boston. The other two are the much more recognizable Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) and Harpoon Brewery. Further complicating the startup process, Trillium is only able to distribute and sell growlers to-go from their Fort Point location. They're still working on obtaining the required license simply to be permitted to offer onsite tastings.

Net proceeds from all sales of OneBoston will be donated to The One Fund Boston to benefit the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. According to the fellow manning the taps that day, this equates to about $1 per pint.

In case you're wondering, our home brew is solid, but probably only about replacement level. That is, if it had enough checkins to qualify, and since I'm assuming checkins by the actual brewers don't (or shouldn't) count, it's a long way from that.

OneBoston, on the other hand, is clearly better than replacement level, although that bar -- so to speak -- will be a little high due to the fact an IPA's replacement level is right about 3.5. Due to its June 6 release, it's not yet in the BeerGraphs database, but is currently earning an average rating of 3.88 (based on 92 untappd ratings as of June 18).

Comparing this to one of our local standards -- Harpoon IPA, which is readily available and pulls down an average rating right at the IPA replacement level of 3.5 -- leaves me wishing this was more than just a one-shot deal. But, even if they're named differently, Trillium is sure to be producing future offerings of the style.

Unfortunately, since it's not available in bottles, I'm lamenting the fact I can't stock up for the summer and perhaps get a nice tax write-off in the process. Seriously, I know you can't write off beer purchases on your taxes, even if the brewer is donating proceeds to charity. Or can you?

Either way, it's obviously for a worthwhile cause and, even if it wasn't, I'll surely be heading back to Fort Point for a refill or two (or six).

Trillium Brewing Company's OneBoston IPA

Appearance: 4.5/5
Poured from a growler into a tulip glass. Nice hazy orange hue and one-to-two finger head that maintained its lacing on the glass as it was emptied.

Smell: 5/5
A gloriously aromatic citrus (mostly grapefruit) assault, with just a little hint of flowery tones.

Taste: 4.5/5
Strong malt presence, but its high alcohol content (7.5%) is nicely balanced by hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: 4/5
Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, goes down pretty easily for a high-alcohol brew.

Overall: 4.5/5


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