Distraction Brewing Company Plans a Taproom in Roslindale Village

The startup is from a couple of local dads, including a veteran homebrewer.

Distraction Brewing Company signed a lease at 2 Belgrade Avenue, Roslindale

Distraction Brewing Company signed a lease at 2 Belgrade Avenue, Roslindale. / Photo by Nic Kafkas

It won’t be all lit-up trees, mulled cider, and wintertime cheer at the upcoming Roslindale Holiday Market—at least one vendor is bringing daydreams of summer Fridays spent at a local brewery. Distraction Brewing Company will formally introduce itself to Roslindale Village at the market, in the neighborhood where it just signed a lease to open a small brewery and taproom.

Universal Hub first reported the news, announced by market organizers Roslindale Village Main Streets last week.

Distraction Brewing is a startup by West Roxbury resident Mike Estey, Justin Garnache of Roslindale, and investor Patrick French. The dads met a handful of years back through their kids. The adults in the group bonded over a love of craft beer, often while sipping on Estey’s latest batch of homebrew. He’s been an amateur brewer since about 1998, taking inspiration from favorite beers by Dogfish Head, Ommegang, and more recently, Trillium and Tree House, and developing his own recipes for styles across the spectrum, he says.

Estey has never brewed commercially, but the plan is to install a small, 2-barrel system in the Belgrade Ave. space to start, working up to eventually install a 10-barrel system in the flatiron building’s basement.

“At first, it’s going to be our test system,” Estey says. “It will be kind of like a fish bowl in the public space. Everyone can look in and see the brewing process.”

Distraction Brewing has signed a lease on the 1,650-square foot taproom space earlier this fall, which used to be home to Emack & Bolio’s, Select Cafe, and a pop-up community play space. The brewery also has access to 2,000-square feet of additional space in the basement, including a former bank vault, which the team plans to use for aging beer.

“Our focus is on the immediate Roslindale community, forging relationships and growing over time,” says French, who is helping the partners with marketing. “We’re setting ourselves up to be able to scale up.”

The taproom will have a convivial atmosphere, with movies or sports on TV, music, and maybe even live comedy—French is a comic on the side, and has produced shows in the past, he says. It won’t be a brewpub, but Distraction hopes to offer snacks from nearby businesses. It will fill fresh growlers to-go.

Estey says he’s envisioning a tap list of well-executed styles, including a pale ale, IPAs, both East and West Coast-inspired; porters, stouts, and saisons.

“Especially to start,” French adds. “We want to be welcoming, but at the same time we’ll do some funky, limited-edition stuff down the line.”

Those decisions will come in time. Distraction Brewing still needs to go through a slew of requisite state and city approvals, including zoning. The owners are eyeing a late spring 2018 opening. For now, the team is just excited to introduce themselves to the neighborhood.

And judging by more than 75 comments on RVMS’s original Facebook announcement, on the heels of Trillium Brewing’s mysterious visit last week to the village’s substation, Roslindale residents are thirsty for a craft brewery of their own—and to see historic landmarks be put to brews—er, use.

Roslindale Holiday Market, Thursday, Dec. 7, 4-8 p.m., Birch Street, Roslindale, Facebook.

Distraction Brewing Company, coming in 2018 to 2 Belgrade Ave., Roslindale, Facebook.