After a major traffic jam led us to make a last minute change of plans on Saturday, we ended up grabbing an impromptu lunch at one of our old spots in Arlington Center. The lunch was good, however, a nearby event ended up being the thing that made the entire ordeal worthwhile. Right across the street from us we happened upon Aeronaut Arlington, a family-friendly pop up beer garden hosted by Somerville-based Aeronaut Brewing Company. With no other plans for the day, we obviously decided that we decided to check it out. With the highlights including live music, other children (and their toy cars) for our son to play with, and beer for the adults I think it’s pretty safe to say we made the right choice.

As mentioned above, the event was located in Arlington Center in a small square that included, among other things, an abandoned bit of train tracks and a rock commemorating one Samuel Whittemore who somewhere in the immediate vicinity killed three British soldiers on April 13, 1776. While the tracks certainly provided endless entertainment for the younger visitors, it was the historical marker that interested me. I love that kind of thing and somehow, despite having been in that very area many times over the years I’d never noticed it. Anyway, the grounds also boasted a stage for various local bands to play and a food tent set up by a nearby Argentinian restaurant.

As cool as all that was, I’m sure why most of you are here is for the beer, so let’s get down to it. Upon presenting our IDs on entry, my wife and I were given free wristbands bearing two tickets for purchasing beer. By the terms of their permit, the brewery was only allowed to serve two adult beverages per person and, honestly, that was really all we were interested in and thoroughly in line with the family/community oriented vibe of the event. This did mean, however, that I had to make choices. My first beer of the afternoon was a 4.6% IPA named Citra Session (pictured below on the right). It poured to a cloudy golden body with a fluffy white head and had a pleasant aroma of citrus rind and sticky hops. Taste-wise, it featured crisp pale malt backbone, supported by sweet fruit upfront, followed by citrus rind notes blending into a moderately bitter finish. Although I wish the blending of flavors was a bit more cohesive, the beer did have a nice soft mouthfeel that made it a very good option for outdoor drinking.

My second beer was a full-on 6.2% IPA called A Year with Dr. Nandu (pictured left). It had a translucent amber body topped with a slightly off-white foam coating the top. Distinctly malt forward, it opened with a moderate amount of sweet malt that were joined mid-sip by mild tropical notes and a moderate earthy/floral bitterness. I liked it fine enough, but really think it was particularly noteworthy. I’m fine with malt in my IPAs but wish (again) that this had a better blending of component flavors.

So there you have it. My wife, toddler, and I all had a great time here and since it will be running on weekends through the end of September, I do recommend stopping by if you’re in the area. I know I was a bit critical of the brews, but stepping out of my reviewer shoes for a moment they all went down just fine and it was great to sit around outside and listen to music in a relaxed setting. I’ll also add here that this brewery does have a pretty dedicated local following, so perhaps it’s best you go and taste for yourself!