Brewery: Aeronaut Brewing Co.
14 Tyler Street, (617) 987-4236
Some people just don’t like a lot of attention on their birthdays, but for Ronn Friedlander, every day is essentially a birthday.
“In some ways, it was like every other day because it was, like, bands and beer and people hanging out,” the Aeronaut co-founder recalls about the brewery’s recent fourth birthday/anniversary party. “We had hula hoops though, which were surprisingly popular.”
Rounded out by Ben Holmes and Dan Rassi, Aeronaut’s chummy team of housemates turned startup brewers can’t deny its rightful place as a modern craft beer success story, even though Friedlander still hazards to call the operation “very small.”
“2014 was, like, we had what we had in terms of resources and money. We started with a bunch of used equipment and built the bar out of plywood and pipes,” he recalls. “You kinda keep having to build, then rebuild, and then rebuild.”
Since its inception, Aeronaut’s production has doubled each year, a testament to both its demand and the brewers’ constant tinkering with new flavors.
“It tastes like a piña colada,” Friedlander attests about his new favorite, the fittingly titled Piña Colada IPA released this year. “We tried different iterations of it later to see if we could improve on it, [and] it was as good as it could’ve been the first time.”
While many breweries work to honor fans and build community, the assortment of live music, trivia and board game nights, Bottle Club meet-ups featuring limited edition barrel-aged selections for members, book clubs hosted by Somerville Public Library, and, yes, parties Aeronaut threw this past year sets a standard for craft breweries trying to create a beloved neighborhood watering hole versus simply slinging pints.
With a recently expanded occupancy limit and plans to outfit a permanent, yet-to-be-named food vendor within the brewery sometime later this year, Friedlander and co. appear to only be leaning further into their reputation as the life of Somerville’s party.
“There’s usually some kind of event going on that’s pretty fun, the beer is awesome … uh, I think,” Friedlander says with a sheepish laugh. “We try to do interesting new things so you’re not just enjoying the flavor of the beer, but you also have really positive associations with it.”