Somerville Food Scene Grows with New Brewery

Tyler Street in Somerville is the place to be these days. The giant maker space Artisan’s Asylum moved there a few years ago, indoor rock climbing gym Brooklyn Boulders Somerville opened up last summer and this spring, Aeronaut Brewing will move into the neighborhood.

The industrial space that Aeronaut inhabits will house a brewery as well as local food producers, and will have a public-facing component. In addition to Aeronaut brewing beer, local grocery delivery service Something Gud will move into the space and open a sort of year-round farmers market. Somerville Winter Farmers Market vendor Barismo, a coffee roaster, is shifting its operations to the space and eventually other tenants will join them.

People will be able to come in and “learn about all the making that’s going on in this space,” said Ben Holmes, a Somerville resident and one of Aeronaut’s four founders. They envision the space as a “local brewery and food hub.”

Aeronaut sign

Holmes and his Aeronaut co-founders came together during the last decade over a shared love of science and beer. They began home brewing a few years ago to experiment and have fun, but quickly realized their hobby could be something more.

In 2012, Holmes and his co-founder acquired several large industrial kettles on Craigslist. Upon getting them home, they realized the kettles wouldn’t fit inside their house. So they set out to build a brewery to house them, which led to acquiring even larger kettles from a brewer in Florida and eventually discovering the space at 14 Tyler Street that Aeronaut now calls home.

“The project was about exploration and adventure,” Holmes said. That is reflected in the name, Aeronaut, chosen for its nod to those pushing the barriers of technology in the 1800s.

With that in mind, the beer coming out of Aeronaut be built around using favorite strains of yeast, making it quite unique. “We’re trying to do really interesting custom jobs with awesome local ingredients,” Holmes said.

Aeronaut inside

That means some collaborations between Aeronaut and the other tenants will likely crop up as the space opens. The food producers moving in have businesses focused more around light manufacturing than commercial kitchens.

“People were ready to consume that stuff here,” Holmes said. “Plenty of people sell local foods that aren’t made in Somerville.”

And Holmes found a kindred spirit in Something Gud founder Colin Davis when they met at a talk at MIT. Holmes said Davis wanted “a place where he could be an ambassador for local foods. And people could be a part of it and experience it.”

And while the build out of the Tyler Street space hasn’t come without challenges, Holmes said the neighbors and city as a whole have been very supportive of Aeronaut’s venture.

“They are excited to see this sprouting up in their backyard,” Holmes said.

Aeronaut Brewing Company

14 Tyler St.
Thursdays and Fridays from 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Saturdays from 2 p.m.-11 p.m.

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