Night Shift Brewing

Winner Winner Beer Dinner

Five Local Craft Beer Fans Dined with Celebrity Brewers during the Mass Brewer Guild’s Mass Craft Beer Dinner to honor its Beer Trail Conquerors

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. | The conversation and beer flowed as Massachusetts craft beer legends Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer co., Dan Kenary, founder of Harpoon, Will Meyers, brewmaster at CBC, and Rob Burns, co-founder of Night Shift and president of the Mass Brewers Guild, came together with five Beer Trail Conquerors for a special dinner at Cambridge Brewing Co. 

The dinner was hosted by the Mass Brewers Guild, the craft beer industry’s trade association, to celebrate fans who achieved Beer Trail Conqueror status by visiting 100 breweries in one year using the nonprofit’s passport program. The mobile app, “Mass Craft Beer,” celebrated its one year anniversary this past September and currently has 9,800 downloads. 

Seventeen craft beer super fans took on the challenge and conquered the trail. Five names were drawn at random to attend the Mass Craft Beer Dinner.  

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Brian Healy of South Easton, Benjamin Krefetz of Cambridge, Lisa Hodge of Sutton, Michelle Mulligan of Whitman, and Dmitriy Arkannikov of Waltham, all won seats at the table, and in some cases left their spouses, who were also Beer Trail Conquerors, behind. “I was getting the silent treatment as I left tonight,” joked Lisa Hodge, whose husband Geoff was her craft beer traveling partner across the state. “Thankfully he’s out with friends enjoying some craft beer tonight too.” 

Many of the Beer Trail Conquerors had coincidently met before, either striking up a conversation at one of the Mass Brewers Guild’s festivals, or bumping into one another at breweries while chasing each other on the leaderboard.  

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Brian Healy was the first to complete the trail, with Bob Kelley, co-founder of the Mass. Brew Bros., hot on his heels. Both Bob and Brian carry their original Mass Brewers Guild paper passports in their wallets and as new breweries open they see if taprooms can stamp them for old times’ sake. 

The Mass Brewers Guild saw the need to digitize the program so they could keep it updated in real time. The app also reduces paper waste and ensures that craft beer fans will never miss another stamp with the app on their phone.  

“I never would have visited towns like Sheffield or Nahant if it weren’t for the mobile app,” said Dmitriy Arkannikov. “I found so many hidden gems along my travels – amazing restaurants, pie shops, doughnut shops -- it was a great way to explore the state. I am excited to do it again.”  

The original paper passport program only featured 43 breweries when it launched in 2013. Today, Massachusetts has more than 160 breweries, with 30 in-planning slated to open in 2019. 

“It was amazing to meet such dedicated craft beer fans and hear about their passion for the MA beer scene, says Rob Burns, cofounder of Nightshift and president of the Mass Brewers Guild. “We really are spoiled in MA from both a brewery perspective and a consumer one.”

The free app is available in iTunes and Google Play stores and is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Mass. Brew Bros. who assist with data collection, Fat Basset Design who provides badge artwork, and to New England Label for their marketing support. Funds raised through the Mass Brewers Guild’s festivals, Power Beer Fest and the Mass Fermentational, help to cover development updates and maintenance costs. 

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The four course beer pairing dinner ended with a blondie drizzled in beeramel, topped with CBC wort ice cream, and paired with a sipper of Samuel Adams Utopias 2017. “If you didn’t drink it, we couldn’t make it – so thank you -- cheers,” said Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Company. 

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About the Mass Brewers Guild

Founded in 2007 by a group of committed and passionate brewers, the Mass Brewers Guild, is organized for the purposes of promoting craft brewing and protecting the interests of craft brewers across the Commonwealth. The association is membership based and open to all Massachusetts breweries licensed by the federal Tax and Trade Bureau and the Commonwealth’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission. The nonprofit creates a community of brewers while shining light on the broad range of breweries and styles offered throughout state.Through industry and educational events, its mobile application beer trail map, and by providing resources and marketing support to brewers, the nonprofit works to highlight Massachusetts as a top travel destination for craft beer in the U.S. The board also continues its work at the legislative level, fighting for license and franchise law reform, and serving as the voice of craft brewers on Beacon Hill. The Massachusetts Brewers Guild is a 501(c)6 not-for-profit corporation.

Night Shift Brewing to Open Second Location on Boston’s Waterfront

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EVERETT, MA - In late 2018, Night Shift Brewing will open a craft brewery, taproom, and kitchen just steps off the Harborwalk and Freedom Trail on Boston's restored Lovejoy Wharf. Located on the ground floor of the Converse building and around the corner from Boston's TD Garden, the location will feature a 10-BBL microbrewery, 30 taps, a full kitchen, and approximately 325 seats in its expansive 12,000 s/f space. 

“The owl is flying to Boston,” says Night Shift Co-Founder Michael Oxton, whose company currently runs a production brewery and taproom out of Everett, MA. “This second location has taken almost two years of searching, but we’ve found an incredible space in Boston’s West End to share with everyone." In addition to beer and food, the location will offer waterfront patio seating during warmer months, a beer-to-go retail market, and a coffee bar for daytime guests. 

While Oxton notes that their Everett location has continued to grow in popularity, he emphasizes that Night Shift has long-sought a second location within Boston proper. “We have such a strong following of beer lovers living and working within the city,” Oxton says. “Night Shift needed a Boston zip code.” Their search finally ended at Lovejoy Wharf. Just minutes from North Station and with views overlooking the water, the location seemed like a truly unique opportunity. 

Partnering with Helios Design Group and Cafco Construction, Night Shift is aiming to create a turn-of-the-century look and feel that honors the location’s history. “They used to make everything from submarine parts to Schrafft’s candy here,” says Oxton. “We’ll keep the raw elements and add modern touches when it makes sense.” Where function meets aesthetics, Oxton notes that the goal is a layered, textured space that holds a big crowd, but offers opportunities for more intimate conversations and experiences. 

Within the space, Night Shift will build a fully operational brewery in full view from the Taproom. Managing that brewery will be Night Shift brewer Anna Jobe, who notes that consistent recipe development will be center stage at Lovejoy, adding, “This will be an innovation playground.” Production will revolve around small-batch, experimental beers with the goal of fueling Night Shift’s recipe pipeline. Their 10-bbl brewing system will support sixteen 10-barrel tanks, giving the team about 2,500 barrels of annual capacity. 

Jobe emphasizes that the majority of beer brewed on site will stay on site. Of the 30 taps available, most will pour house-only beers, with the remaining lines dedicated to NSB’s core brands, such as their award-winning Santilli IPA, Whirlpool New England Pale Ale, and Nite Light Craft Light Lager. 

Supplementing their beer will be a food menu developed by Night Shift themselves. While food truck partnerships offer a great solution in Everett, Oxton says that Lovejoy calls for an in-house kitchen. The team has turned to RealFood Consulting to help them build and design a food program that matches their vision. “The goal is a focused menu that offers both small plates and shareable items,” says Oxton. “One page. Same menu all day long. Creative, elevated takes on familiar dishes.” 

As for getting there, Night Shift Lovejoy aims to beckon runners, walkers, bikers, and pretty much anyone not driving their car. Says Oxton, “There’s no dedicated parking. We’re hoping that encourages responsible transportation.” Regarding open hours, the current plan is seven days a week, early morning until 1am. “We want people to use and enjoy our space during all hours of the day for any number of occasions,” says Oxton. “Whether it’s grabbing a 4-pack and coffee during lunch, after-work drinks and snacks, a weekend family visit, or a full corporate outing, we want Night Shift Lovejoy to be your go-to beer destination in Boston.”

Night Shift will provide updates as more details are finalized this summer. Follow @nightshiftbeer on social media to follow live updates on the buildout and opening events.

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Night Shift Brewing’s next big move: sour cans.

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After years of exclusively using 750ml bottles for their sour beers, Night Shift is making the transition to 16oz cans. “Customer demand for tall-boy sours seems to get stronger every day,” says Co-founder Rob Burns. “We’ve been listening. And now we’re acting on that demand.” 
 
Night Shift has been canning non-sour beers for years - over 5 million cans since 2014. But starting in March, they’ll put sour beer into aluminum for the first time ever. Making the debut will be Ever Weisse, a mixed fermentation sour ale aged with kiwis, strawberries, and hibiscus. Ever Weisse will be released in both 4-pack and draft formats out of their Everett Taproom on Friday, March 2nd, and will hit Night Shift’s MA distribution channels the week of March 12th.

The reason for such a long delay in the sour can game? Quality control. Says Head Brewer Joe Mashburn, “Canning sour beers was something we always wanted to do. But due to our mixed fermentation process that leaves active lactobacillus in our sour beers, we avoided contaminating any equipment used for non-sour beers. This meant no sours through the canning line. That all changed this month.” 

In early February, Night Shift Brewing expanded their production facility with the purchase of a second canning line. This development has freed up one canning line for the dedicated packaging of products that use mixed fermentation processes, while a non-sour line continues to push out flagship products like Whirlpool New England Pale Ale and SantilliAmerican IPA.

One important distinction for Night Shift’s sours, compared to most sour beers in the market, is the mixed fermentation process utilized by Mashburn and his team. Fermenting sour beers with both lactobacillus and brewer’s yeast achieves significantly complex flavor profiles, as opposed to the more commonly used kettle sour method that deactivates the cultures during the early stages of fermentation. Through continued experimentation and research, the Production and Quality Assurance teams at Night Shift Brewing have developed a unique set of conditions that allow both cultures to coexist - hence the term “mixed fermentation.”

The brewery has been innovating this process since their inception in 2012, which saw the release of their first sour beer, Somer Weisse (which was brewed with lemongrass and ginger). At the time, there were only a handful of US-made Berliner Weisse-style sour beers in the market, and consumer interest was confined to a very select palate. 

Says Rob Burns, “We’ve always tried to innovate. Where we once offered one of the only sours in the MA market, we’re now offering one of the only canned mixed fermentation sours. We’re looking forward to continuing to grow this series and bring it to a larger market.” 

For the Weisse series, 2018 will see three different releases hit the local shelves. After Ever Weisse runs from March to May, the brewery is planning on a summer (June-August) of Rickey Weisse cans - a recipe that puts a twist on the classic “lime rickey” by aging the mixed fermentation sour base with raspberries and limes. Rounding out the year will be Mainer Weisse, a mainstay in the brewery’s catalog since 2012 that is aged with blueberries and cinnamon sticks, available September through November.

“We’re thrilled about the year of sour cans ahead,” says Burns. “We’re using photography on our packaging for the first time, really trying to showcase the fruits featured in beer. They’re exciting, complex labels for exciting, complex beers. We hope our customers feel the same way!” 

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For Beer Lovers: Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas & Event Round-Up

No plans? No problem. Whether you are single and ready to mingle, on lock down, or just looking to hang out with friends, we’ve got you covered:

Gardner Ale House is hosting a “Be Our Valentine Dinner,” on Tuesday, Feb. 14 from 5 to 9 p.m., located at 74 Parker St. in Gardner MA. An elegant dinner for two for only $60 -- the menu boasts baked brie, a trio of steak medallions, shrimp cocktail, duck confit with risotto and much more. Reservations are encouraged. Check out the website, gardnerale.com, for the complete menu and details.

Night Shift Brewing in Everett is hosting Flight Night – a Valentine’s Day Cheese Tasting. Forget the chocolates and celebrate Valentine's Day with cheese and beer this year. Formaggio's Will Sissle will be onsite in the Annex on Tuesday, Feb. 14 for an evening of tasting and learning. Will is collaborating with the Night Shift team to put together a set of four amazing cheeses, expertly paired with 4 oz pours of Night Shift’s renowned beers. 5 p.m. session tickets are still available. For tickets, click here.

Not looking to get all sappy with the lovebirds this year? Head to Dorchester Brewing Co., and boycott the whole thing! Anti-Valentine’s Day Trivia starts at 7:30 p.m., entry is free. For more details, click here.

Roses are red, violets are blue, beer is cheaper than a dinner for two! Two local breweries have new releases on tap that will help set the mood and serve as the perfect gift this Valentine’s Day:

Cape Cod Beer is releasing its popular Vanilla Bean Porter for Valentine’s Day.

This drinkable dark beer with a chocolatey malt character is infused with Madagascar Vanilla Beans. Madagascar Vanilla Beans are known for their superior flavor and aromatic qualities making them the most popular and sought after vanilla variety. The label features a lemur, the most well-known wildlife from Madagascar. The flavor is rich, dark and creamy with a sweet, buttery aroma, pairing perfectly with the delicious dark chocolate malt flavor in our Porter. This beer is exclusive to the brewery and available in 750 ml bottles only. It’s delicious paired with chocolate or with vanilla ice cream as a beer float.

Love makes the beer-go-round! Happy Sol Blood Orange Hef, Slumbrew's most popular beer, started out as Caitlin's Valentine's Day gift from her husband Jeff. Five years later this duo runs Somerville Brewing Company and are making plans to expand American Fresh Brewhouse locations. They are also launching a new release called My Better Half -  an Imperial Cream Ale blend of half ale and half lager. The beer is often requested by newly engaged couples to serve as their “wedding beer.” 

However you are celebrating (or not celebrating) we hope its with a good local beer! Cheers!