UPDATE, August 26: While this week was slated to host the final Aeronaut Allston Beer Garden, the Wednesday night pop-up has been extended through September. That said, the closeout celebration was already planned. The “fake finale” on Wednesday, August 31, features Erik van Dam, a Boston-based saxophonist, with a special guest, looping vocalist Margot MacDonald from Washington, D.C.
“Almost all the music at Allston this summer has been locally-focused, but I’d thought we should reach nationally for an act or two! Margot is an unforgettable performer,” says Aeronaut’s arts and culture liaison, Jason McCool.
Expect the usual lineup of Aeronaut beers, guest cider drafts, and food trucks.
Ever since Ben Holmes, Ronn Friedlander, and Daniel Rassi opened the doors of Aeronaut Brewing Company in Somerville two years ago, they have been thinking about the future. And they think it could be in Allston.
This summer, they’re testing the waters with a 16-week, Wednesday night pop-up beer garden at 267 Western Ave., as part of Harvard University’s Zone 3 initiative.
“Allston has always been exciting to us,” says Holmes, the company’s CEO. “There’s a huge density of creative people… There are Harvard students, but also families and people who have lived there their entire lives. It reminds me of Aeronaut Somerville.”
Aeronaut Neighborhood Nights in Allston is an effort to bring those people together. Across two buildings at the Western Ave. site and in an adjacent parking lot, there will be family-friendly activities ranging from free bike tune-ups, to live music, radio broadcasts, open source engineering projects, food trucks, and of course, a cash bar with Aeronaut cans and drafts.
The first Neighborhood Night is June 15, with performances by Allston acts Cocek! Brass Band and Strange Changes. The inaugural party will also see all beer sales donated to the Center in Orlando. Aeronaut is fundraising for the LGBT organization in response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting over the weekend, Holmes says.
Throughout the summer, the brewery hopes to involve community organizations like CommonWheels Bike Co-Op, Allston Pudding, Allston Village Main Streets, and others, plus Aeronaut’s longtime collaborators, including the Museum of Science.
“At this point, we’re calling out for people that want to participate: Bands, designers, community groups that want to be involved,” Holmes says.
Friedlander is a biotechnology Ph.D. and Rassi’s background is in computer science startups, but about half of Aeronaut’s staff are musicians, and former or current Allston residents. With the Wednesday night pop-ups, “We’re just trying to create a cohesive musical experience with food trucks and beer,” Holmes says. “The keyword is really ‘community event.'”
It’s also a way to gauge the potential of an Aeronaut outpost in Allston. The team has no plans to leave Somerville, but they are considering growing their Boston-area presence, Holmes says.
And, it’s just going to be “insanely fun,” he says. “We really want to make it both a service for the people who pass through, and the people who live there.”
Aeronaut Neighborhood Night in Allston, Wednesday from June 15-September 28, 5-10 p.m., 267 Western Ave., Allston, aeronautbrewing.com.
UPDATE, June 13: This post has been updated with information about the Center fundraiser during the June 15 Aeronaut Neighborhood Night in Allston.
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