Somerville’s Remnant Brewing is more of a cornerstone than their humble name suggests – holding down the corner of Union Square’s Bow Market since the bustling hub opened to the public. Founded by beer aficionados David Kushner and Joel Prickett, the hyperlocal brewery serves as a meeting place within a meeting place, giving visitors to Bow’s many shops and eateries a spot to settle in with something brewed – be it a cup of coffee or a pint of IPA. Just over a year old, the brewery is already integrated into the community with patio parties, beer collaborations and much more to come.
Remnant’s design puts patrons right beside the brewing process with a barrel room, taproom, and al fresco beer garden. Head brewer Charlie Cummings stays hard at work, putting out a rotating cast of beers that run the gamut of styles. Since the inaugural Bow Street Session, Cummings and co. have built a repertoire of neighborhood faves and outside-the-box offerings. Pours like a malty red saison and an IPA made with Belgian yeast defy classic categorization in favor of approachable but interesting pints. Morning visitors (Remnant opens at 9:00am) will find the same balance of delicate and intriguing beverages on the café menu, sourced from local Barrington Coffee.
Part of what makes Remnant so unique is, of course, location, location, location. With its 30+ vendors, Bow Market offers everything from raw oysters to vinyl records, from brow-shaping to comedy sets. As Remnant’s general manager Brittany Lajoie puts it, “Remnant is in the beer industry, to be sure, but our relationships within the Market keep the door open to the worlds of art, music, fashion, social justice, regional and global gastronomy – the list of what you can find at Bow is literally endless.” The brewery has put its back patio to use for movie nights (The Goonies, Jumanji), music (partnering with upstairs studio Union Sound), and movement (yoga and barre classes), and those are only a few of the ways Remnant extends its influence beyond the brewed stuff. Says Lajoie, “It’s pretty amazing that after a year of all of these businesses working together, rather than talking specifically about profits and proceeds, or numbers and dollars, we are discussing how to make Bow a better community through inclusivity, equality training, and relationship development.”
For Remnant, community is key, whether within Bow Market or beyond. They’ve joined up with fellow beer-makers like Vermont’s Hermit Thrush and Somerville’s own Winter Hill Brewing for collaborative brews that bridge the distance. More nearby, their beers pair perfectly with a slice from the neighboring Hot Box or something seafood-y from across-the-way Hooked. “We want to brew small batches of beer for our neighborhood and provide a great environment for people to gather, and come back often,” says Lajoie. “We’re not trying to pour our beer for everyone in Boston, in Mass, or down the East Coast – we just want all of the folks of Somerville to know they have a great destination for great beer.” Their upcoming Oktoberfest celebrations (September 28th and 29th) will be a shindig for sure, but stop by before then to enjoy the patio weather, the summer sours, and take part in what Remnant has built.