Night Shift Brewing

Discussion in 'New England' started by TheMattJones88, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. TheMattJones88

    TheMattJones88 Initiate (112) Sep 12, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    So, am I crazy, or is there not a Night Shift thread going currently. They're making tons of delicious stuff, and the 5th anniversary party was today.

    My buddy brought me a 4-pack of Fuzzy (one of the last ones, so he says), and it is delicious.

    Any other Night Shift love? I still haven't had a beer that I haven't liked from them. All the One Hop This Time beers are great, Morph is fantastic, as is Santilli, and the 87. Their stouts? Delicious. Bennington? Fantastic.
  2. OldLady

    OldLady Devotee (461) Apr 25, 2006 Connecticut
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I haven't had much exposure to their beers (few cans of hoppy stuff via neighbor) but grabbed Pfaffenheck 4 pack recently - thought it was one of best US Pils (that I've had). Would drive half hr to MA just for that beer.
    jlordi12 and TheMattJones88 like this.
  3. TheMattJones88

    TheMattJones88 Initiate (112) Sep 12, 2009 Massachusetts
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    I've been meaning to grab some of that, just haven't found it yet.
  4. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Zealot (555) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    They have come a long ass way in producing hoppy beers. I tried one of if not the very first Morph (12 oz can) and it was not pleasant! The fact I can now buy any Morph or One Hop sight unseen on reviews here or type of hop is great. NS is consistently delivering a great product for sure.
    Leebo, Robtobfest and smutty33 like this.
  5. LukieBL

    LukieBL Initiate (86) Jun 10, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Regarding the OP: there is some reason why they don't have their own monthly thread.

    I don't really get it because there are tons of different beers being released all year from Nightshift and a monthly thread a la TH, HF, Alchemist, et al. would be useful, but nope

    I've tried to make this same thread and it was deleted so not really sure the reasoning here
  6. Trull

    Trull Initiate (198) Dec 24, 2016 Massachusetts

    I had one of their beers tonight as did my wife. They produce very consistent and delicious beers and it's great their brews are so widely available in MA! Hope this thread sticks around.....
    smutty33 likes this.
  7. smutty33

    smutty33 Defender (639) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Night Shift has really stepped their game up last couple years, particularly with the hoppy offerings. Big fan.

    Would love to see them avail in CT. in the near future.

    Eye wink to @masterob8
    Robtobfest and robNSB like this.
  8. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Zealot (580) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    I like Night Shift beers but a few concerning notes on their growth:

    - their beer is starting to spread far & wide, already seeing some age on the beers at package stores (2+ month old Whirlpool)

    - the brewery is just too crowded during popular times. Not their fault & not sure what they can do about it, but it's affecting the brand in some worrisome ways.

    I like Whirlpool & the Morph beers, & appreciate having them more conveniently available. But I hope they can handle their <deserved> growth successfully.
    thedude180 and AlcahueteJ like this.
  9. ManapuaMan

    ManapuaMan Meyvn (1,160) Apr 3, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I remember seeing the Night Shift thread mentioned above but I don't think it got enough traction to stick around near the top of the forum or serve as a catchall for topics. Recently started a quick conversation about them changing the recipe of the 87 and, as is typical, Night Shift chimed in and gave great information. From hiring a couple of industry execs to disrupting the distribution model to pumping out good to great beer consistently, these dudes are on point. Haven't been to the brewery in a while but it's almost unfathomable to see how they've turned that pocket of Everett from a corporate stronghold into a nighttime/evening destination.
  10. Jsukys

    Jsukys Initiate (154) Apr 18, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Totally agree with NS love. The fact that their brewery is busy during popular times just goes to show its the only (IMO) local brewery with quality beer and quality space/atmosphere.

    Has anyone tried The 87 since the new recipe implementation?
  11. NYR-Zuuuuc

    NYR-Zuuuuc Aspirant (240) Jan 1, 2013 Connecticut

    Has anyone tried The 87 since the new recipe implementation?[/QUOTE]

    Had one last night, thought it was fantastic...
    Leebo likes this.
  12. kinopio

    kinopio Disciple (347) Apr 30, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Cambridge Brewing, Mystic, Notch, Idle Hands, Jacks Abby, Springdale, Winter Hill, Trillium...
    meb3476, Ericness, Stormfield and 8 others like this.
  13. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (723) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Nothing against Nightshift, I probably go there about once/month, but they're different than Treehouse, Trillium, Hill Farmstead, and Alchemist in a few ways.

    1) Unlike the others, you can find most of their beer in numerous stores, and it's not in limited quantities.

    2) From what I can tell, they also produce far more beer than those other breweries (I could be wrong about this, but unless it's a special release, their beer doesn't sell out at the brewery in one day).

    3) Ratings are not the be-all end-all when it comes to beer quality, but their beer is not rated nearly as high as those other breweries. Again, not speaking to quality here, but ratings add to the hype of a beer.

    I'm not sure a monthly thread is necessary due to those reasons, and I imagine if it's not necessary, the moderators don't want the New England forum clogged with a monthly thread for every single brewery in the Northeast. For example, I love Notch, but there's never going to be a monthly thread for their beer releases, nor should there be.

    I'm not disagreeing with you just curious about which ways you think it is/will be affecting the brand?

    I've posted on here recently in a thread about brewery lines, and they're by far not the only one who is jam packed with lines at popular times. Aeronaut definitely is, Lamplighter, even Bone Up always has a line across the street.

    And they're definitely not the only local brewery with quality beer and a quality space/atmosphere in my opinion. Again, I love Nightshift and go there frequently, but I also love Notch's atmosphere and beautiful location on the water. Different atmosphere, but just as fun, and they definitely make quality beer. More of a German beer hall/garden type atmosphere which I love.
    thedude180, LeRose and meefmoff like this.
  14. wehaveamap

    wehaveamap Initiate (197) Jan 16, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    One Hop This Time Motueka was probably the best beer I've had from them.
  15. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (723) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Ever tried the Idaho 7? It's far and away my favorite One Hop This Time, possibly my favorite beer from them period. They rarely brew it though...I've been on the look out ever since I tried it last year.

    Also, that 7/1/16 Morph was amazing.
    Jesse14, AirBob and Davepoolesque like this.
  16. gclaw4444

    gclaw4444 Initiate (163) Jul 30, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    To me night shift is the best blend of local, good beer, and large production/distribution. I dont like everything they make, but i know i can always find them in stores or take a short drive to the brewery and pick stuff up to go. I particularly like their barrel aged stuff, and the fact that it doesnt sell out in a day (except for apple brandy el lechedor i think). I dont know if that's because they make so much more or they're not as hyped up as other breweries.
    JMFBOSTON, joberlander and Robtobfest like this.
  17. mschofield

    mschofield Meyvn (1,349) Oct 16, 2002 Massachusetts

    That was (is) fantastic, completely different appearance from the One Hop - Amarillo at least for my cans. Kind of interesting, showing the impact different hops can have on clarity.
  18. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Aspirant (290) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    I like the One Hop series. They are the only beers I will buy from NS nowadays.
  19. bleakies

    bleakies Devotee (400) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    They've become my go-to brewery for hoppy brews, and rare is the day when my fridge doesn't feature Santilli, the Morph variations, the One Hops, and/or Whirlpool.
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  20. trevorpost

    trevorpost Champion (814) Aug 3, 2008 Massachusetts

    I've been wondering lately if they've considered opening a second taproom. The demand is there, and it's not people lining up because the brewery is the only place to get the beer. It's also not just (the immediate) neighborhood folks hanging out at the local, Night Shift is a destination for a lot of people. Their taproom experience is very popular and I'm curious another location is something they've thought about incorporating into their plan for growth in the area.
    SunDevilBeer likes this.
  21. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (220) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    Interesting thread, the real question posed here is "What justifies a monthly brewery thread?". With regards to amount of beer produced I actually don't think Night Shift produces more beer than the other breweries with threads. With Trillium's expansion they produce a lot more beer than Night Shift I believe. From google searches Night Shift has more than doubled every year and 2015 they produced 5,000 barrels:

    So lets assume they are producing somewhere around 10K-20K barrels per year now. Trillium's Canton expansion supports I think 30K barrels, not sure if they still produce much beer in Fort Point. Tree House is probably doing somewhere between 6K-10K barrels per year (rough guess based on what they release every week). TH will produce a ton more with their new expansion than NS but how much of that is going to be direct sale vs distro?

    At the least all of them are producing a decent amount of beer. TH is probably the hardest to get. Trillium is getting easier and easier to get. As mentioned in the previous post a second taproom is probably where NS would go next. Selling a $6-7 beer on tap in their taproom is going to have higher profit than selling a ~$4 beer at a liquor store or even a $16 4 pack direct from the brewery. They were smart to dump growlers because they are probably profit drains for them. Growlers takes the bartender away from profitable bar beers. Still haven't addressed what justifies a thread but I think at the end of the day the main thing with NS is that they are a successful taproom first more than a hard to get beer. The taproom is both a ticker's dream and a mainstream craft beer drinker's haven. If they opened another one I think they would pack it easily. You can bring any type of craft beer drinker into their taproom and they will likely walk away happy.
  22. emannths

    emannths Aspirant (215) Sep 21, 2007 Massachusetts

    Taprooms in MA have to be on the same physical premises as breweries, so they've have to open another TTB-licensed brewery to open another taproom. Of course, the Somerville Brewing/American Fresh guys are doing this to plant a permanent flag over at Assembly Row, so it's not impossible...
  23. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Zealot (580) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    I've heard many marginal & hard-core craft beer fans complain about the crowds at the brewery. That definitely effects one's perception of the brand as a whole. Also, aging/stale beer on store shelves does nobody any good - and particularly with the hop-forward series of beers NS offers, they can fall off a cliff pretty quickly.
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  24. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (970) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I think what justifies a monthly thread on here is if postings about the brewery are frequent enough. So if people are up to talking about night shift and it can go pages long within a month, then you can probably have a thread. The old thread wasn't super active.

    I've noticed the HF thread doesn't go nearly as long as it used to. Mostly people just asking if special releases are still available. Trillium seems to be slowing down a little too. TH still looks pretty strong. I feel like the same conversations are getting recycled each month or every other month.

    Out of any brewery on here, that doesn't have a monthly thread, I'd say, Jack's Abby/Springdale would be the first candidate.
    matthewp and meefmoff like this.
  25. gclaw4444

    gclaw4444 Initiate (163) Jul 30, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Tree House is pretty much "i wonder what they'll have today" "here's a spreadsheet of everything they've ever released" "they havent announced a beer yet for today, i bet it's a special release" "looks like it's 4x emperor grejulgangerrrrrr" "I'm from ohio flying in to boston, how do i tree house." Nothing wrong with a monthly thread for that, and there are sometimes interesting discussions, but it's usually pages of the same stuff.
    One reason why i dont think night shift should get a monthly thread is because they are very straightforward about everything. Announcing far ahead when beers are released, up to date tap lists, no worries about things running out. If there's anything special happening like the barrel society someone will create a thread for it.
    meefmoff likes this.
  26. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (525) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Lamplighter has a line pretty much all weekend and their beers are no where near the level of Night Shift, Trillium, Mystic, CBC, or Jacks Abby. The beers show promise and have already improved quite a bit from when they first opened, but taprooms are hot around Boston, the beer just needs to be not bad to fill a room.
    SunDevilBeer likes this.
  27. yossle

    yossle Aspirant (218) Dec 31, 2016 New York
    Beer Trader

    A month or two ago Whirpool showed up in NY - or at least in my bottle shop - thought it was excellent. Good hoppy flavor with an incredible, super creamy mouthfeel. Needless to say I was stoked when I found Santili today. Hope to see more Night Shift on a regular basis.
    robNSB likes this.
  28. Justin42

    Justin42 Aspirant (293) Apr 3, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I think Night Shift is boss. I never took the lack of a monthly thread as a negative mark against them. As @matthewp and others have pointed out, one of the reasons is likely that, if you want to know what beers area available or on deck, it's as simple as visiting their website and/or subscribing to their weekly emails. They don't announce beers in a way that requires consulting multiple forms of social media, which in turn means a monthly thread is likely of less use to some.

    But yeah, great beers, good prices, and awesome (albeit crowded) taproom.
  29. thedude180

    thedude180 Initiate (149) Apr 3, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I agree with this being a concern. I have also noticed their hoppy stuff not being refrigerated in some stores, which i had not noticed before.
    So curious what they can do abot this? Do they have more control since they self distribute?
  30. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (723) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    It is really annoying, and it's not their fault obviously. But from what I've noticed lately, and from what they're posted here, as long as you avoid ~2 - 4 pm on weekends, you likely won't encounter a line, or at least not a long one.

    The last two times I went in that time frame (2-4 pm) it seemed to clear up a bit around 5 pm. This Saturday I'm going to hit up Mystic early afternoon, then swing by Nightshift before dinner. I'll see how that goes. I wanted to swing by yesterday but it was way too cold, and I kept checking Twitter to see how the line was doing. Hopefully there's some goodies leftover from the party yesterday.

    Taprooms are one of the most popular activities period in Boston right now. From my experience, most of the people going aren't necessarily there for the beer, but for the atmosphere. This is likely why the beer doesn't have to be amazing to attract people.

    I've chatted with many people at tap rooms. I don't consider myself an expert (far from it), but beer has been a hobby of mine for over a decade. And most know very very little about beer. They're just there to hang out and have a good time. Nothing wrong with that, but it means popularity does not equal quality in this case.

    @trevorpost mentioned a second tap room for them. I wonder if there's any hesitation due to JUST how popular tap rooms are right now. I'm curious if all of these people who are there for the atmosphere will eventually get tired of how crowded they are, and move on to something else.

    A few years ago I imagine if I told anyone that Sierra Nevada and Sam Adams would actually be LOSING money, they'd think I lost my mind. Craft beer is a fickle market at the moment, could be awhile before the dust settles.
    thedude180 likes this.
  31. oldbean

    oldbean Aspirant (283) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    It's also worth noting that the beer at most Boston bars is, uhh, also not so amazing. And the places where it is amazing, they're charging you a dollar an ounce for the stuff. Just having decent, fresh, somewhat-reasonably priced beer makes these taprooms a significant upgrade from what most people are probably used to.
  32. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (525) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I don't think they're losing money, just not making as much as they used to.
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  33. Hoppy_Time

    Hoppy_Time Disciple (318) Jan 3, 2016 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Love 87, it's a must grab when I'm in Mass, hoping some of it hits Maine since we've been getting Whirlpool and Santilli. Hope the recipe change isn't too significant. Also love Pfaffenheck.

    We were down in February and ended up passing on stopping at the brewery because there must have been 200 people in line. Luckily CBC in Framingham had a great selection of their beers which were all decently fresh.
  34. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (723) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    You're right, they're likely not losing money at all. But their sales are declining, which is still something I don't think anyone would have believed 5 or so years ago.
  35. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (220) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    So lines to buy beer at Tree House is expected and fine but lines to drink at a tap house aren't? Are we so entitled that a crowded bar upsets us? As mentioned in other threads Night Shift has a separate line for take away beer and the bar. They recently moved the take away beer away from the bar and into another area to alleviate any congestion.

    I've been to many bars which have been too crowded and I moved on but that doesn't make me think that's a problem for the bar. The area has enough alternatives that you can go somewhere else. Sure its disappointing but it wouldn't stop me from continuing to go there. They currently have a problem that most places want to have, they are popular. The issue is do they have room to expand much more at their current location or do they need to open a second brewery (as was mentioned by @emannths they apparently need to have a second brewery not just a taproom due to MA law). In either case is their popularity sustainable? Personally I think their lineup is sustainable but realistically their existing area doesn't have the parking or access to handle much more. A new brewery would be a big investment, I guess we'll see what happens.

    As for refrigeration NS has made a big deal about that. Their delivery trucks are refrigerated and their new distribution facility is refrigerated. They seem to ignore it though for who they distribute to because the beer is rarely refrigerated at bottle shops. I've bought their beer at CBC and at Redstone in Andover unrefrigerated. Most bottle shops I go to don't refrigerate most of their beer even ones that state "Keep Refrigerated". I think for most beers, even hoppy ones, the whole refrigeration thing is mostly marketing. Now that being said if Morph sold out in a few days its probably not a problem but if its sitting on the shelf for a month its certainly going to degrade quicker than if it was refrigerated the whole time. So its kind of surprising that NS isn't cracking down on that.
  36. Aaron58

    Aaron58 Aspirant (211) Dec 16, 2007 Massachusetts

    I am noticing a LOT of comments lately about taprooms being "too busy", and complaints about lines. I feel like these places are getting negative responses for being too popular sometimes.

    I wanted to go to the 5th Anniv party Sunday, but we drove up and the line was pretty long at open. Had it not been so cold, I probably would have waited, but we just changed plans and hit up Lamplighter(busy but not full), Aeronaut(basically empty at 2pm, and had 4 really cool experimental IPA on), and Bantam cider. We could have gone to Winter Hill, Idle Hands, Bone Up, Dorchester....

    Point Being there are so many fun and quality places to go, all within maybe 25mins of each other, I have a hard time understanding complaining about a place being "too busy".
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  37. dwmetsfan13

    dwmetsfan13 Initiate (160) Jul 22, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    On the refrigeration front, it always kills me when I go to Whole Foods on River St near Central Square. They do a really good job of keeping 90% of their beer in the cooler yet inevitably all of the NS stuff (that they're heavily promoting) is up front near the registers out of the cooler.
  38. Justin42

    Justin42 Aspirant (293) Apr 3, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    The easy solution here is for Night Shift and others to find a way to translate the same cachet that seems to come from standing in line for a few cans of beers to the taproom situation.
  39. bleakies

    bleakies Devotee (400) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I've been really lucky with freshness from NS. At my locals, the hoppy NS stuff gets replenished all the time and I pretty much never find any more than, say, two weeks old.
  40. emannths

    emannths Aspirant (215) Sep 21, 2007 Massachusetts

    It feels a bit like the Yogiism "no one goes there anymore, it's too crowded," doesn't it?

    The problem is that breweries aren't typically located in dense, walkable areas. It's usually easy to walk down the block to a different bar if the first is crowded. It's a lot different to pile back in a car, drive 25 minutes, find parking, etc etc. That's why taproom lines feel more irritating than bar/restaurant lines.

    At this point though, I think people's expectations are properly calibrated and those that go at peak times expect just suck it up and wait with only minor grumbling instead of outrage or dejection.
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