Our Night Shift Brewing Road trip began early on the morning of June 16th – 6:30 to be exact. Our target, five breweries before the sun set. The plan from Northern New Jersey:
1. Night Shift Brewing in Everett, MA by 11:30,
2. Trillium in Canton, MA by 12:30,
3. Jack’s Abbey in Framingham, MA by 2:30
4. Treehouse in Monson, MA by 3:30
5. New England Brewing in Woodbridge, CT by 7:00.
Arrived at Night Shift right on schedule. The brewery is located in an industrial area and street parking looks to be the only option. Parking wasn’t an issue on that day because we ended up about 50 yards from the front door.
Inside the tasting room at Night Shift. Yes, at 11:30 a.m. people were drinking beer. Not us – because we still had a big day ahead of us.
Mike’s a good friend and his clipboard was filled with orders for other people. He nabbed a case for himself.
Off to the side of the tasting room is a door to the brewhouse. A large glass window affords you a peak inside the operation. It’s a bigger operation that I thought
Okay, let’s examine the six different beers I purchased at Night Shift
Tasting: June 18, 2016
Beer #: 967
Santilli is named for the street on which the brewery is located (Santilli Highway). Also of note, this IPA was a Bronze Medal winner in the 2016 World Beer Cup in the American IPA category. Really, it’s a very good and very straightforward IPA. It’s super smooth and entirely drinkable. Well balanced, fresh flavor (canned 3 days ago), bitterness is crisp. I’ll peg Santilli at 92 points.
Tasting: June 21, 2016
Beer #: 968
Morph is an ever changing IPA each batch made with a new hop and malt profile. Each release is identified by the release date and this can is from the 6/3/16 batch. According to the brewery’s website, the 6/3/16 recipe is an IPA featuring Cascade, Simcoe, and Columbus hops with dank aromas of pine and orange peel; sips with notes of melon and lime. I’ll concur here as I picked up all of these in my own tasting. I’ll also note that the bitterness was assertive but certainly not obtrusive. After two different offerings from Night Shift – I’ll note that they have terrific peripherals – nice mouthfeel and nice balance. Let’s see if that carries on in the other offerings. Morph 6/3/16 gets 93 points.
Tasting: June 24, 2016
Style: American Pale Ale
Beer #: 969
This is the beer that drew my attention to this brewery a couple of years ago. It seemed that every porch-bomb trade photo included a picture of the owl on the can and a rave review. Now, I can join the thumbs up club. The pour was fizzy and that had me concerned at first but Whirlpool turned out to be a smooth beer, entirely drinkable. The 4.5% ABV puts it in the sessionable category and it’s a winner. Doesn’t have the depth of bigger IPA’s but certainly has enough citrus and stone fruit to satisfy. 92 points.
One Hop This Time: Idaho 7
Tasting: June 25, 2016
Beer #: 970
Part of a rotating series where Night Shift uses a single hop variety for both aromatic and bittering. I’m not familiar with the Idaho 7 hop but I can say that this is an awesome beer. Initially, it was a little hard to get my tastebuds around the waves of flavor but I get some dankness with some black tea and tart pineapple. Nicely balanced sweetness and bitterness. 94 points.
Tasting: June 26, 2016
Style: Imperial IPA
Beer #: 971
Probably the most assertive of the bunch so far. Big citrus and lingering bitterness. I do get some peach underneath. All in all, another nice offering from Night Shift 91 points.
Tasting: June 27, 2016
Beer #: 972
Bright and bold coffee with some chocolate undertones. Acts a bit bigger than its 6.7% ABV. Starts to wear itself out but really a terrific porter. 91 points.
In case you were curious, we made it to four of the five breweries on our itinerary. We didn’t make New England by their 7:00 close but we found a couple of four packs of G-Bot in two stores located a short drive from Tree House. All in all, I’d call the road trip a major success.