While some might argue that nothing goes better with beer than a nice brat or a slab of meat, a group of local entrepreneurs begs to differ and will prove it in the form of a vegan beer hall called Rewild, coming to Quincy Center as early as spring 2018.
Owner Pat McAuley has partnered with chef Will Hernandez and general manager Marissa Hughes for Rewild, and each brings to the project his or her own experience with vegan food. McAuley was a member of the founding team at Barrel House Z in Weymouth, and he runs Eat Green Make Green, a health and lifestyle platform that features podcasts, blog posts, and more. Hernandez and Hughes come to Rewild most recently from By Chloe (stylized as by CHLOE.), a New York-based vegan restaurant chain with locations in Boston’s Seaport District and Fenway (and soon, Back Bay).
McAuley, who eats a vegan diet, told Eater, “It totally changed my health and life in a variety of ways” but said that it’s not the most convenient practice in the Boston area.
“There’s no place in Massachusetts that you can go have a few beers, hang out with friends, and eat plant-based food,” he said, noting that most vegan restaurants are fast-casual or small spots. His aim: to add a social component to this type of dining.
“My primary goal of the whole project is to just bring plant-based food in a social and fun way, specifically to the South Shore, but to Boston as well,” McAuley said.
Rewild will have 20 tap lines and a curated list of draft beers, most local, including options from the South Shore and the Cape, like Barrel House Z, Untold Brewing in Scituate, and Naukabout Beer in Mashpee. There will also be selections from Greater Boston (think Trillium, Slumbrew, Bent Water, and Lamplighter), and New England options from Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Canned classics like PBR and Narragansett will appear on the menu as well, along with kombucha, seltzer, and coffee, including nitro and cold brew.
In keeping with a growing trend of dual-purpose coffee-and-beer venues in the area, Rewild will serve as a gathering space throughout the day, as both a beer hall and cafe, McAuley said. (Somerville’s forthcoming Remnant Brewing is also jumping onboard this trend.)
“We envision in the mornings a place people can come out, work on their laptops, and have plant-based pastries and really good artisanal coffee,” he said, with the space turning into a beer hall in the afternoons. Inside, there will be urban-style art and graffiti on the walls, with a retro-style area where McAuley plans to host his podcast.
“We’ll just kind of make fun little events around interesting guests that come in,” he said.
The team is currently working to sign a lease for the former Iron Furnace space at 1495 Hancock St. They previewed what’s to come from Rewild at a recent pop-up at Barrel House Z, showcasing a food menu of entirely vegan dishes, including “bacon-wrapped scallops” made from oyster mushrooms wrapped in rice paper.
McAuley aims to make Rewild approachable, with drinks and food people are used to, like burgers, tacos, and pizza (topped with cashew cheese). A mock-up of the menu includes appetizers like corn dogs, hummus, and cauliflower Buffalo wings, while main dishes range from French dip sandwiches and tofu tacos to Impossible Burger sliders and curry quinoa bowls. Rewild’s cafe fare will include grab-and-go items like overnight oats and muffins.
McAuley estimates Rewild could open by the end of May or early June, and he says that it will be the first establishment of its kind, opening as a fully vegan beer hall. A cafe in Los Angeles boasts a similar side project: Sage Vegan Bistro debuted as a cafe, and later tacked on an all-vegan brewpub, per Eater LA. Los Angeles was also previously slated to welcome its first-ever vegan beer hall in 2017, but plans fell through.
• Rewild (America’s First Plant-Based Beer Hall) to Open in Quincy [BRT]
• Rewild [Instagram]
• Rewild [Official Site]