A taproom from one of the biggest breweries in Massachusetts has mostly shut down for the foreseeable future, and it could be a sign of things to come for at least some beer makers in the state.
According to a Facebook post, Trillium Fenway next to Time Out Market Boston is "pausing" outdoor seating and draft service, saying that pickup of to-go cans and bottles will continue via online ordering while also noting that "We will announce any further operational changes as they become available."
The decision appears to be based on the updated guidelines issued by the Baker administration last Friday (and officially instituted Tuesday) in which a "restaurant" is defined as a place that has seated food service where the food is prepared on-site and in which the spot has a "retail food permit issued by a municipal authority pursuant to 105 CMR 590.000," meaning that pre-packaged foods are not suitable enough for a place to remain in operation.
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In a Boston.com article from Monday, Trillium Brewing said it had been trying to determine if the Fenway taproom was in compliance with the order, with vice president of operations Ryan Shocklee saying that "We could easily have Time Out Market run food to our tables. But would that qualify as food prepared on site for Trillium? We don't know the answer to that question yet."
A number of breweries across Massachusetts have taprooms and/or beer gardens that offer food, though some make use of food trucks while others mostly serve snacks--and there are also some that do not offer any food at all. The decision by Trillium to suspend outdoor seating and draft service could be just the first of many by breweries when it comes to their taprooms and beer gardens, so stay tuned for more updates over the coming days as other breweries figure out what needs to be done in order to comply with the order.
It appears that Trillium's Fort Point and Canton locations are unaffected by the updated guidelines, based on what Shocklee says in the Boston.com post.
Updated Rules Have Been Set for Massachusetts Bars, Including What Constitutes "Food"
by Marc Hurwitz (Also follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston)
[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]
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