Trillium is brewing up a big expansion plan that will take the craft beer company to new locations in Canton and the Fenway.
Cofounders Esther and JC Tetreault on Thursday confirmed the craft brewer has acquired a 19-acre section of the former Reebok campus on Royall Street in Canton from Spear Street Capital. They plan to convert a nearly 140,000-square-foot industrial building into a brewery and restaurant, with room for offices, storage, and event space.
They said the property will eventually allow them to consolidate two much-smaller leased spaces in Canton, as well as warehouse spaces in Avon and Taunton, into one location.
“Now, we can build a custom brewery that has enough to space to accommodate everything we want to do there,” Esther Tetreault said. “The new building gives us the space to bring all of that under one roof and design it in a more customer-friendly, efficient manner so everything is where it should be as opposed to where it can fit.”
Owning the property, as opposed to leasing, also gives the company more control over its future. And JC Tetreault said the new location would provide ample parking, unlike its current primary brewery, which is also in Canton.
Meanwhile, the Tetreaults have signed a deal with developer Samuels & Associates. to open a 1,500-square-foot brewery, taproom, and retail store at the Landmark Center, which the developer is now marketing under the name 401 Park, in the Fenway. The Trillium facility will be out in front of the Art Deco building, on the site of a former open-air parking lot.
Coincidentally, the Tetreaults first met at the Landmark Center, at the Boston Sports Club.
Construction on the Fenway location is underway, with the beer hall scheduled to open at the end of the summer. The Tetreaults aren’t sure yet when they’ll be able to open in Canton, in part because they need to work through permitting and licensing on the local, state, and federal levels.
Wildly popular, with near-cult status among local beer lovers, Trillium sells nearly all of its beer directly to consumers, rather than through stores or bars. So additional Trillium-run locations are crucial to the brewer’s continued growth.
The company first opened in Fort Point in 2013, selling beer out of an old industrial building. The Tetreaults eventually moved nearly all production to a Canton industrial park, and opened a beer hall there to tap into the consumer demand.
Trillium also runs a seasonal beer garden on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. And in 2018, the Tetreaults opened a new restaurant and brewery, not far from their original location in Fort Point, and acquired a farm in North Stonington, Conn.
The nearly 300-person company experienced some growing pains: It faced criticism last year for treating retail workers as tipped employees instead of regular hourly employees. The practice was legal, but the backlash was fierce. The Tetreaults quickly raised the base pay for their retail workers from $5 or $8 an hour, to $15 to $18 an hour, in reaction.
The future of the Connecticut farm remains an open question. JC Tetreault said he has hired a land-use lawyer to help study the opportunities. The hope is to create an event space that would include a brewery. This spring, the Tetreaults will start growing crops at their farm for the Fort Point restaurant.