Working at desks by day and brewing beers by night, friends Michael Oxton, Mike O'Mara and Rob Burns transformed their apartment brewing gigs into their new daytime jobs in 2012. Night Shift Brewing was founded in Everett, Masachusetts from the trio's wild experimentation and ceaseless imagination. This assembly of friends is not afraid to take the risk of employing very unorthodox ingredients. From hibiscus flowers to habaneros to pink peppercorns, they offer a lineup of truly individual brews.Night Shift Brewing continues their expansion with a recent adoption of a 20 barrel brewhouse. Their success has not let them forget their roots - they are consistently supporting the Greater Boston community. Their bottles all come with local food recommendations on the label, where a Berliner Weisse style sour ale may just be perfect with those buttermilk pancakes at a restaurant in Somerville. Beer and pancakes? No complaints there.
And to think Night Shift Brewing all began with a pot, a Gatorade cooler and a basic brewing kit (very much like ours). We decided to sip their success by sampling some beers from their Sour Weisse Collection as well as a seasonal, wintertime ale. Read on for our tasting notes, and leave a comment if you have tried any of these Massachusetts nanobrews.
Resembling the pour of a yeasty Champagne, this effervescent beer is reminiscent of most things sour and fermented. The Somer Weisse is brewed with lemongrass and ginger root, giving it an aroma of tart grapefruit and unmistakable fresh ginger. Full of character and fizzy life, modest notes of apricot and stone fruit come together with the fermented flavors of a lactic, sour goat yogurt, as well as kombucha.
Another Berliner Weisse style sour ale as part of their Sour Weisse Collection, the Mainer is aptly named for its use of Maine wild blueberries and cinnamon sticks in the aging process. It is simultaneously a deep and bright reddish-purple like a Lambrusco, and smells like a freshly baked, buttery blueberry cobbler. The dairy notes carry over to the palate making this complex ale, while less sour than the Somer Weisse, taste like a cheese plate.
Fallen Apple is a golden ale brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander and allspice. It is then fermented with apple cider from local McIntosh apples from the fall harvest. This ale is then poured into rum barrels to age, giving it subtle scents of a boozy cocktail at Christmas. The tarnished brass color and flavor of apple schnitz with a dry finish make this an amiable and cozy brew for chilly days.
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