Night Shift Brewing

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Belgian Saison
3.72 | pDev: 13.71%
Night Shift Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Saison brewed with rosemary, rose hips and pink peppercorns.
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 118
Photo of scottfrie
2.93/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

750ml bottle into tulip. Batch #11, bottled 10/17/13. Thanks again AutumnBeerLove!

A: Pours a lightly hazy dark iced-tea color with a couple fingers of off-white head that slowly faded into a lasting collar. Wispy of clinging lace were left down the glass.
S: Peppercorns and rosehips are strongly noticeable on the nose, but the rosemary is in there as well. I get a mild sweetness, which I assume is the honey. There’s something in there that reminds me of balsamic vinegar – probably the rosehips. However, the combined ingredients smell a bit plasticy and rough.
T: Not as rough as the nose, but the rosehips do add that strange vinegary-floral taste. The pink pepper corns and a nice peppery layer of spice, and the rosemary comes through with hints of its characteristic flavor in the finish. The aftertaste has a blast of tart vinegar and rough acetone, as well as a lingering spiciness.
M: Medium body, slick and greasy mouthfeel with a harsh acetonic finish. Carbonation is fairly smooth but kicks up in the finish and really tingles my tongue.
O: My least favorite from the five or so beers I’ve had from the brewery. Flavors are not bad, but the harsh vinegar and plasticy acetone make this hard to drink, and the carbonation doesn’t help.

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Photo of fourstringer
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a corked & caged 750 mL bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet. Moderate hand. Bottled on: 4/1/14. Another take away from a trip to the brewery. I don't believe it was available on tap.

A: Cloudy amber body with orange tints at the periphery. 1 finger white head. Ok retention. Minimal lacing.

S: Fruity, floral Belgian yeast. Lemon juice. Peppercorn. Herbs. Rosemary. With effort I can pick out each listed ingredient, but taken together they create a harmonious, cohesive whole.

T: Lightly spicy initially with herbal and floral notes. A mild bitterness and tartness simultaneously develop to a semi-dry finish. A pleasant herbal astringency lingers on the palate. The tartness beckons another sip. Alcohol is light for 8%.

M: Moderate carbonation and moderate body that well suits the flavors.

O: Really nice saison with a bit extra tartness than average. Very impressed with much of Night Shift's stuff. Too bad I only grabbed the one.


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Photo of abriggs1
4.41/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

This saison is very underrated. Reading the other reviews, I expected kind of a mess. But this beer is more balanced than I thought it would be. There are many strong flavors going on here, but they work well together.

My bottle had a handwritten date of 4/1/14, and a handwritten ABV of 8.3%. This must be a different batch, because it's listed as 7.6% on BA.

It's certainly possible that this is a new and improved version. To me, this is a very robustly flavored saison that manages to have a semblance of balance. I've never seen a beer brewed with pink peppercorns before, but they might just be the perfect ingredient that no one else is using. They provide just a hint of spice, and probably contribute to the nice dryness that compliments the yeast character.

There's a lot going on here; the rosemary is there, but faintly. The rosehips shine and give it a long, lingering sweet aftertaste that contrasts the dryness nicely.

This reminds me very much of Cellar Door's White Sage Saison. Obviously, this is a brewery that isn't afraid to change up recipes and improve their beers. In my opinion, this blows more highly rated saisons out of the water. I'm thinking about Hill Farmstead/Grassroots Brother Soigne here. I'm hope that I'm not the only one who appreciates this recently re-tooled brew!

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Photo of papat444
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

4 ounce pour directly at the brewery.

Flavor is mild pepper, honey, herbs; Aroma and flavor boast a strong rosemary presence. Body feels light even though it clocks in at 8%. Is there such a thing as extreme floridness? Regardless, very tasty indeed.

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Photo of Ljudsignal
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into my Night Shift tulip. Bottled 10.17.13, whoops...should've gotten around to this little lady sooner, methinks. Batch No. 11--this is one of the sour ones.

Pours a hazy amber with a frothy finger-high off-white head. Poor head retention--it subsides in under a minute--is counterbalanced by the stubborn collar and film of foam atop the beer. Almost no lacing to speak of--a handful of spots here and there, no more.

In the nose, tart floral rose hip notes, strong spicy and herbal rosemary, sweet honey, and a powerful yogurty lactic funk atop it all. Subtler notes of cracked black and pink peppercorns.

Taste follows the nose almost to a tee. Spicy peppercorn and tart vinegary citrus on the front of the palate is joined mid-palate by a sweeter rose hip note--which, alas, is almost immediately overpowered by wave upon wave of spicy, herbal peppercorn and rosemary. Finishes with one final kick of rye-like spiciness, a subtle note of honey, and a flash of what I swear is...vanilla? Am I crazy?

Medium-bodied, prickly carbonation. Feels slick on the palate.

On the whole, Night Shift continues to intrigue and surprise me...even when I don't necessarily love their end product. This is a very nice bottle, don't get me wrong--but the overlap of tangy floral and spicy herbal notes obscures a lot of the nuanced complexities that I look for in the saison style. Ignoring stylistic conventions, though, this remains a fairly impressive and nicely tasty effort.

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Photo of davewlfpckfan29
2.75/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I have heard great things about Night Shift Berlinners, but I could not get my hands on any.
So I gave this a try, because it sounded good.

It looked great! A nice in between of yellow and orange.
And the smell was just as great. A nice floral, funky smell, almost like vinegar or some kind of funky yeast.

I really really looked forward to having this beer.
And I wanted to like this beer.

But it had this un-pleasant taste to it. Almost like a strong vinegar spiciness.
My friends and I could not put our finger on it, but even as we let the beer get closer to room temperature, it was still hard drink.

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Photo of yottachem
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Served in a tulip.

Appearance: Opaque, orange/honey in color. Quickly receding head with med-coarse bubbles. Some lacing in glass.

Aroma: Tart aroma, rose hips, rosemary up front. Some malt sweetness with a deep whiff. Distinctly floral aroma, less herbal than one would expect for rosemary addition.

Flavor: Tart flavor first, followed by a herby rosemary flavor, then light malt with a final return to the tart that lingers. No alcohol flavor percieved, surprising for a 8.9% ABV. Very similar tartness to a flemish brown/red. Floral component is barely perceptible and herbal flavors linger on tongue. Upon warming, floral notes are "mid-taste". Peppercorns start to appear in finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium tartness with light carbonation and light-med body. Tart lingers ever so slightly. Very dry finish.

Overall: Very refreshing. Tart is a bit too much if considering a second pint. Floral and herbal playing together is interesting, but not my favorite. Ethanol warms after the second glass but the beer is not boozy. If having as second beer, a strange "barf-like" flavor appears on the tongue because of the rosemary/tart conflict.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Night Shift

Hazy amber pour, with a thin white head that left a few dots of lacing on the glass. The nose was quite herbal and floral, the rose coming through in a big way, and the rosemary--as always--being a bit too dominant. Taste of honey and pale malts, rosemary, floral notes from the roses, a touch of what seemed like lactic tartness, and a bit of peppery spice, but I probably wouldn't have noticed it if it wasn't mentioned in the description; finished with a slight earthy funk. Kind of vague for the saison label. Medium body. Interesting and good, but lacking balance.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Marigold to gold fade, very cloudy, almost to the point of translucence. Thin head with some splashy lace. Not the foam show I expect from a high end saison.

Smells floral and sweet: nectar like. I'll buy rose and honey. Slightly metallic.

Tastes like it smells: floral honey nectar. Bees and humming birds would like this. Some yeasty dryness for balance and a very,very mild tart accentuation.

Brewed with floral honey, rosehips, rosemary, pink peppercorns and aged in fermenters formally containing a Berliner. Usually a long grocery list of add ons make for a messy beer but they all play well together and taste like what one would imagine it to taste like.

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Photo of MAbeerNE1
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle from the brewery. Bottled on 11.20.12.
Poured from a 25.4 oz. bottle into a Night Shift tulip.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful pink grapefruit color that is almost opaque with a towering foamy head. Decent retention but eventually dissipates. Leaves some crazy banded lacing on the glass. It's beautiful.

Smell: The floral rosehips are very prominent complimented by the spiciness from the peppercorns and alcohol. Underneath it all I can detect the deep earthy rye.

Taste: Complex and balanced. It's equal parts sweet (honey), spicy (rye and peppercorns), sour (yeast),and floral (rosehips) and bitter. Every sip is an adventure. I detected much more of the rosemary at the brewery but that seems to have faded in the last month.

Mouthfeel: For such a complex flavor profile, this is very light and airy in the mouth. A definite plus in my book, even if it's a bit too drinkable at 8.8%.

Overall: A great twist on a saison. The complexity added with the rosehips, peppercorns, rosemary, honey and rye malts make this very savory. A saison to be savored in the colder months. Give this a shot if you're a sour or saison fan.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap at the brewery on September 8th, 2012.

It had an orange/pink-ish, cloudy hue to it, with an off-white foamy head. The smell was very sweet, fruity, floral, and a slight spiciness. The taste was similar to the smell. It had a spiciness to it with floral, honey and citrus flavours meshing nicely. Very great balance with the pink peppercorns, honey, and rosehips.

Would I buy it again? Absolutely.

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Photo of Dope
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is unlabeled as far as ABV, batch # and bottling date. Appears to be Batch 2 according to the website, however.

A: Pours a very cloudy orange with a huge and dense slightly off-white head. Fades pretty slowly, retention is quite good. Excellent thin film of lacing all over the glass.

S: Very floral with lots of roses as you would probably imagine. Very similar to lavender. Spicy peppercorn and some honey. Honey almost smells like agave oddly enough - it's close.

T: Lots of spicy peppercorn up front with a rose/lavender flavor in there. In the middle the rosemary kicks in with constant spicy peppercorn floating in and out. Ends with a flourish of honey and some fading roses. Lingering aftertaste is of bitter peppercorn and rye. Pretty much pure flowers and spices, don't really get much in the way of saison-like qualities unfortunately, it's honestly more like a gruit than anything.

M: Medium bodied, tangy and spicy.

O: Not a bad beer but lacks a lot of beer qualities in my opinion. Night Shift sure loves their unique ingredients and they tend to overpower the beer itself. This one is no different, the beer is basically all flowers and spices - strong ones at that. Really didn't get much in the way of hops or spices or yeast really, unfortunately. Still a decent tasting brew, don't get me wrong.

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Rose from Night Shift Brewing
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 118 ratings