Bellwoods Brewery out of Toronto, Ontario and Trillium Brewing out of Boston, Massachusetts decided to do not one, but two collaborations! And I was lucky with trading power that I got not one, but both of them! Received them both fresh and consumed fresh! Thank you to the two parties involved for making this happen. It gave me the chance to write this article for ya’ll.
I have recently started a series that covers our neighbors called Doing our Neighbors, you can catch part one covering Beverage Warehouse in Winooski, Vermont, here, and part 2 covering Beaus, here. This is a little introduction into my new series I will explore on occasion, called Distant Relatives. This series will explore our beer relatives that are a little ways, or a long ways away from Quebec and what better way to introduce this series than with a mash up of titans like Bellwoods and Trillium!
Trillium Brewing, based out of Boston, Massachusetts, is a name that sends excitement through any craft beer geek in the know. It is no secret that Trillium produces some world class beers that are sought after all over the world and for good reason. They create some of the best Pale Ales, IPAs and DIPAs I have had the honor to devour. My first consumption of these beers was made possible due to beer trading, and they absolutely send shivers down my spin. My idea of IPAs were beers that had a gritty, mean and aggressive bite such as Stone IPA or Bear Republic Racer 5. What was an NEIPA? I had no idea. But after my first bottle of Trillium. I got the idea loud and clear! Juicy, pungent, hoppy and a thick body and voluminous mouth feel. Trillium had a hold on me and has never let go. After my first taste I was highly obsessed and thanks to a good friend and his generosity, I was able to get some more bottles. It felt like Christmas!
Bellwoods Brewery, out of Toronto, Ontario, is like the beast of Canada. Canada has some really well known breweries and great ones at that, but a lot of the Canadian breweries are not so well known around the world or even in USA. The guy who I traded with for the Street Shark had no idea who Bellwoods was! Bellwoods creates some incredible beers and a large range of them. From great IPAs to great stouts to some dam right solid sour/wild ales. Recently the Milkshark beers have created an intense craze around Canada, with trading for one requiring your arm, your leg, and probably your heart and soul. I was lucky to have some good friends in the beer world to be able to snag some bottles of few variants. And wowza. What a crazy ride consuming these milkshake IPAs. In recent times I am very happy to see Bellwoods collaborating with some top class USA breweries, such as Trillium and Other Half. These collaborations will push the Canadian breweries to the American public and show them that Canadian craft beer is on point and not to be missed!
Bellwoods x Trillium Cutting Bells
DIPA || ABV: 8.5% || IBU: –
This beer was inspired by Trilliums Cutting Tiles beer, and utilizes honey from Rosewood Estates Winery and Galaxy hops! I assume that the base was the Cutting Tiles recipe with the rest of the beer developed by Bellwoods.
The appearance has an alluring hazy golden yellow. The aroma sends a rush of ecstasy surging through your senses. Like catnip to a cat, the aroma drives you wild almost to the point of running around in circles screaming and shouting for joy. Much like a dog chasing his own tail. That sounds exhausting, and now I’m thirsty. It has your typical juicy aroma that is expected from both Bellwoods and Trillium beers.
The taste is on point, a light sliver of tropical fruitiness. The fruitiness is not your typical explosion and in your face but it has just the correct amount of fruit burst. On the tongue it is a huge juice bomb with not too much herbaceous or green characters. The green herbaceous characters are very mellow and settled well overall. The heat and sharpness is moderate and digestible. The honey is present but fairly quiet for me, I really wish it would be a bit more prominent to really feel the sense of honey. It does however add a complex honeysuckle quality to it. The finish was okay for me, it wasn’t too smooth and it wasn’t to harsh. It was a good finish, but it didn’t have a large impact. Overall I wish I could have had more of this beer, it went by too fast and I only had one lonely can in the fridge.
Trillium x Bellwoods Street Shark
DIPA || ABV: 8.2% || IBU: –
“What happens when a witch shark hits the streets? A DIPA is born.”
This beer was brewed at Trillium’s Canton facility using Bellwoods base recipe and Trillium’s house yeast and methods. It truly is a combination of two great breweries joining heads and ideals to create something special and different. Not all brewery collaborations can go as planned and often times the results can vary. The blend of the recipe along with the brewing methods of Trillium came together in a surreal manner, one which was both successful as a collaboration and as a stand alone beer.
Has the standard haze craze haziness and the aroma is bursting with juicy, tropical fruits. Getting an immense jelly like character on the nose. The taste matches the nose to fairly close replication. It erupts on your taste buds with jelly, juiciness with notes of guava, passion fruit, pineapple and some kiwi coming through. The finish has a sharp kick of bitterness but slides off smoothly. The mouth feel as is always is the case with Trillium beers is an excitable and tenacious, which swirls in your mouth.
Certainly a beer collaboration that will echo through the ages. I am excited to see future collaborations between breweries in Canada and USA, because it puts Canadian craft breweries on the map and showcases their abilities to crowds that are not in near proximity to the brewery. USA may be the power house for craft beer, but make no mistake, Canada has got a lot brewing for itself. Cheers to the Canadian breweries that make our lives a bit less painstaking and a lot more flavorful. Drink local, support local, drink craft. Yum. Till next time.
Words + Photography by Hopcitizen