Night Shift Brewing

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Belgian Saison
3.63 | pDev: 14.05%
Night Shift Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Saison fermented with freshly juiced honeydew melons.
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 74
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nice head that leaves some shards of lace

Smell: Bready and yeasty, with honeydew notes

Taste: Bready, with the yeast adding a spicy character; the honeydew arrives in the middle and balances the other flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: The honeydew flavors are well-integrated with the Saison elements and add a real distinction to this beer

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Amber colored body with nice pillowy head. Loads of fruit on the nose. Just immense fruitiness present on this beer. The flavor is a bit odd. I don't get much saison quality. I do get a tropical fruitiness but it isn't really in balance. It isn't sweet, but it just hasn't married itself to the base beer. I couldn't really figure out where this beer is headed, but I appreciate the fruit flavor that the honeydew provided.

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Photo of u2carew
3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle

A) Pours with a finger thick head. Creamy, tight, sticky lacing. Hazy amber colored body.
S) Hop aromas - grapefruit. All citrus. Subtle hints of the honeydew.
T) Earthy. Peppery. Notes of orange peel. Hop bite in the finish and aftertaste. Honeydew is weak and nearly non-existent in the flavor profile.
M) Medium body. Dry. Slightly tannic.
O) A decent saison. Needs to warm. 40ish is too cold and suppresses some of the flavors. The honeydew could use a higher concentration, especially since it's called Honeydew.

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Photo of Infiniteingest
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Generally: We're off to a bad start. Fully 5inches of head, and it isn't going anywhere, so I can neither smell nor taste this beer until it calms down... It isn't calming down, so I'm just going to fight through the head.

The Pour: She's a looker. Fairly dark for a saison, but chromatically in tune. I assume the color comes from the malt, but I don't taste much malt. Anyway, looks like honey frizzante.

Face in the glass: This beer smells darn good, but it's subtle. I get a lot of peppery notes and, once I've worked past them, some very nuanced notes of melon and slate in the background. It's hard to pin this one down, but it smells pretty good. When I hit it again, for the fifth time, my first impression is sour and yeasty, in a good way, with a nice hoppy cellar door.

Temperature: I began colder, but this beer sings its song at 50 degrees. It improved consistently with warming and seemed to hit its mark at 50. Even better at 55...

With Regard to Taste: It's a very good beer, and I applaud the honeydew melon incorporation. Subtlety will be the popular death of this beer. If such a death is in the cards, that is. If you're not willing to take the time with this beer, you'll miss it and will experience a vaguely spicy saison with barely perceptible melon notes. That's one way of saying that this beer is not a knockout; another way of putting it would be to say that Night Shift have missed the mark.

Epitoma: There's a great deal of distance between stylistically faithful and innovative when it comes to moving forward with a brew. More often than not, the former is achieved and the latter is merely winked at. Honeydew tastes like a saison sweetened with honeydew melon, but there is nothing going on here that merits much more than a nod.

Note: Ehh.

Serving type: Bottle.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First had: bottle from Craft Beer Cellar

Poured a medium amber color with a large poof of foamy off-white head that eventually settled down to a drinkable level, and left trails of lacing on my Night Shift feku. Earthy aroma, notes of melon rind, wet hay. Flavor was a bit vague for a saison, but there was a decent hit of funk in there, earthy, notes of bready yeast, raw sugar, touch of black pepper, with the melon being somewhat of an obscure back-flavor, though it came out much more distinctly as the beer came up a bit in temperature, and when it did, there was a mix of rind and over-ripe pulp on the palate. Medium body, slightly chewy, dry finish, and I found it pretty easy to polish off a bomber myself. Decent overall, and definitely worth a try, though not exactly what I'd call an exemplary saison.

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Photo of Brew_42
2.78/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I may have set unrealistic expectations with this beer.

I love saisons and I love honeydew so I was psyched.

Pours hazy orange/brown with almost no head.

Smells like honeydew but also smelled a little rank/rotten.

Tasted-Less emphasis on the honeydew than I had hoped and it didnt taste much like a saison. Some spiciness with a hint of fruit. A little bit of honeydew in the after taste but thats it. The bad smell affected the taste experience.

MF- Flat.

Overall- I probably had unrealistic expectations but I thought it was a let down. I have heard that this brewery can be inconsistent so I may have gotten a bottle from a bad batch. The smell was definitely the worst part.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle.

Pours hazy copper with an inch-plus head and loads of clingy lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics feature burnt peppercorns, melon rind, apple skins, band aids, and smouldering rubber. Hints of pineapple, cut grass, and strangeness follow through.

Light bodied with a crisp, velvety mouthfeel.

A slightly malty backbone with shades of toffee, fruit, and melon pith starts the palate. Peppery spice, wet hay, and earthy undertones follow through.

Finishes with some faint melon, spicy yeast, and a mild bitterness.

Strange one this is. The melon is present but subdued and the burnt rubber and band-aid character in the nose detracts.

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Photo of greenmtn1111
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch #3, bottled on 6/17/2013

Poured into a glass chalice. I did not pair it with any of the suggested foods on the bottle.

Pours a much darker color than I was expecting, like dark amber maple syrup with a little bit of red in it. Head is a light tan color and about two fingers high. Lacing is minimal. Lots of yeasty esters on the nose. Mainly sugary banana and spices but no melon yet. I can taste the honeydew!..I think. And the hops – this is a very hoppy saison and they’re of the piney variety. I wonder if a more fruity or floral hop profile would have brought out the melon more. It is sweet on the tongue for a moment, but then finishes quite dry and peppery. There’s also a very dank, earthy quality to the beer which I’m not sure I like or not. I was expecting brighter flavours. Overall it’s a really interesting saison and it works well but it's a little too peppery to showcase the honeydew in its full glory.

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Photo of Dope
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch 3, 7.2% ABV and bottled on 6.17.13 (11 days ago)

A: Pours a hazy amber/red with a big fluffy tan head. Head fades at a moderate pace, leaving small dots of lacing behind. Good retention.

S: Lots of spicy belgian yeast. Very peppery. Bready malt. No real honeydew, seems to be overshadowed but I swear I get hints of it here and there (could be the power of suggestion).

T: Sharp, spicy black pepper from the belgian yeast up front and throughout. A bit of honeydew mixes in initially, providing nice balance. Bit of crackery malt and then the melon fades away, leaving a peppery, drying finish.

M: Medium bodied, quite dry and spicy.

O: Interesting concept for a saison. It sounds better than it is unfortunately. The black pepper from the belgian yeast dominates this one. I like peppery saisons but this should be called "black pepper" not "honeydew". There is only a small amount of honeydew in this, making it quite unbalanced. I think a stronger honeydew presence would make this super refreshing (what's more refreshing than some nice fresh honeydew?). Maybe a stronger melon is needed, like a cantaloupe? It's a unique beer and it's still tasty, just could use a little fine tuning I think. A well-balanced version of this would be stellar, I think.

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Photo of Maxwell
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours muddy orange, merging into an amber brown. It pour with a nice finger’s width head of creamy white bubbles and leaves a lacing of light splotchy bubbles. In body the beer is slightly dark and cloudy with just hints of the other side of the glass coming through. On the nose, the beer smells of sweet melon with just slight hint of the vegetal musk of melon. The malt is light and caramelly beneath it with touches of biscuit hitting the nose. Hops seem light and spicy in the beer, giving a nice finishing prickle to the smell. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet with a touch acidic and a light closing bitterness. In flavor the beer begins as sweet melon and really just bumps the flavor fuller and fuller, never closing on a cloying level and always balancing itself with the melons more vegetal flavors as well. The yeast is light and bready in the taste with hints of citrus bread that blend with the beer’s melon very nicely, and there is also slight spice that is presumably coming off the hops. The finish blends the yeast and melon flavors further into a refreshing bite while light herbal bitterness does build up and hiccup into the aftertaste which is slightly grassy with lingering vegetal flavors from the melon and a touch of sweet melon as well. In the mouth, the beer feels on the heavier side of medium with nice creaminess from the carbonation and a slight slickness that presumably comes from the added melons. The mouth is left slick and damp with a decent amount of salivation coming from the acid of the beer. Overall, this is my favorite melon beer that I have sampled so far. It marries beer and melon beautifully and makes it very drinkable and refreshing. This is not a session beer by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a very drinkable and definitely worthy of a summer’s day spent relaxing. Try this beer!

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Photo of jaasen64
2.97/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

32oz swing-top growler picked up at the brewery last week, refridgerated since being filled. Consumed from Gandhi-Bot tulip. This is a 6.8% saison made from real honey-dew melons.

A- Pours a reddish, yellowish brown color with about a half finger's worth of white head that has decent retention but slowly recedes to a thin layer leaving some spotty layered lacing along the sides of the glass. Nice consistent carbonation, especially considering this is from a growler. Not your typical saison color.

S- Lightly sweet honeydew with some saison yeast and light peppery spices with a hint of cinnamon hiding in the background. As it sits the honeydew fades and the spices come out. Decent aroma strength. I liked the nose on this at first but as it sit the honeydew faded and the spices in the background became more prevalent which I did not favor.

T- Similar to smell except the spices are much more dominant and the honeydew is more on the finish. Flavors of pepper, a very light pinch of cinnamon, saison yeast, a hint of plastic, and light sweet honeydew. On the finish is some promising honeydew mixed with more plasticy saison yeast and aftertastes of the aforementioned spices. Overall not overly strong flavor wise, slightly watery, and the flavors that are their don't compliment each other overly great.

M- Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, a little bit watery, decently refreshing once you get past the off putting tastes in it.

O- This saison was a nice concept and showed some potential, but in my opinion it just fell short. I think honeydew could fit nicely in a saison however the spices in this in my opinion did not go with the honeydew properly and it was slightly over spiced in my opinion. I think the yeast they used also gave a very slight plasticy taste that was slightly off putting. Overall I think I'll stick to Night Shift's weisse beers, however I would like to see them try this beer again and make some improvements.

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Honeydew from Night Shift Brewing
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 74 ratings