Night Shift Brewing Announces 2013 Barrel Society

— Yesterday Night Shift announced on their homepage a new Barrel Society that they’re marketing as a beer CSA. You pay the money upfront and you reap the rewards of Barrel Society member-only barrel aged brews, swag, and an end of the year party. Sound familiar? It should. Check out what’s included:

  • One 2013 Night Shift Barrel Society Membership Card
  • Seven barrel-aged beers (two bottles of each = fourteen bottles), exclusive to members
  • Priority to purchase additional bottles of each beer, if the barrels prove more fruitful than expected
  • Two drinking glasses exclusive to the Night Shift Barrel Society
  • One T-shirt exclusive to the Night Shift Barrel Society
  • First rights to renew your membership for 2014
  • Two tickets to an end-of-the-year Night Shift Barrel Society Party

On the beer front, they’re expecting:

  • 2 sours (Flanders Red/Golden Brett/fruit-aged)
  • 2 imperials (Tripel/Barleywine/Coffee Stout – to be decided)
  • 1 barrel-aged IPA
  • 1 beer 100% brett-fermented (wild yeast strain)
  • And the 7th beer will be decided by you!

Elise and I have been a big fan of Night Shift ever since I visited their brewery back in September. (She’s very much looking forward to getting her hands on some Fallen Apple.) They’re still a small brewery now, but if they take off the way The Bruery has with their Reserve Society, it may be wise to to get in on the ground floor now. In addition to the beers, they plan on using the money for:

  • 3-4 new stainless steel fermenting tanks (to double our capacity!)
  • Many more barrels of all types for our beers
  • Forklift for moving beer, barrels, large groups of people…
  • The Night Shift Delivery Van
  • More kegs for more draft beer!

Let’s do the math here. It works out to about $18 a beer not including all the frills. Now, I’m no stranger to spending $20-30 bucks a bottle on beers (hello Golden Blend?) but Night Shift is a fairly new, not as well established brewery compared to the breweries commanding those prices for beers. And there are only about 40 reviews for their beers on BeerAdvocate, total. I have, however, really enjoyed the stuff I’ve had from them in the past. But it’s still a big investment for something so unknown. Just because you pour some beers into barrel does not mean it makes magic (as evidence from Mendocino’s BA beers and some of the BA beers from Adirondack Pub & Brewery).

On top of this, I’m not local which means at least a few trips out to Night Shift, including fuel, food, their regular beers at $10-12 a bottle I’m sure I’ll buy when I pickup my Barrel Society ones, plus stops at Deep EllumLord Hobo, and Craft Beer Cellar or wherever I end up venturing that day. The membership costs will definitely add up.

So what do you guys think? Is the 2013 Night Shift Barrel Society Membership worth it or is it just too much money to spend on beer?

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