Wait, wasn’t I just saying that I’m out of space in the beer cellar? Not sure how this happened. I blame Elise.
We haven’t been out to Night Shift in a while, and it’s been even longer since I’ve been to Tree House. Since we had some bottles graciously waiting for us at Night Shift that Elise couldn’t wait to get her hands on, and after seeing Heather Vandenengel’s article on DigBoston (with a shout out to yours truly in there) I wanted to make a stop and finally check out Tree House’s new brew house, so we skipped out of work early yesterday and hit the pavement to head to Mass.
It never ceases to amaze me how much Night Shift expands each and every time I visit there. Always more equipment, always more barrels, always new beers in the works. If we could, we’d be there for every new release of one off beer they’re messing around with. Even their core beers are constantly getting tweaked, as evident with the latest batches of Viva Habanero and Rose.
- Viva is much more spice forward this time around, something I welcome especially after enjoying Habanero Sculpin at Hunahpu’s Day. Previous batches of Viva have been mostly lingering heat in the back end but the latest if much more in you face, however, it paled into comparison to the absolutely outstanding Fire Brittle I got to sample from Holt’s Confectionery. Unlike Viva, or any spicy food for that matter, once you swallow the heat starts to dissipate. With brittle, the candy sticks in your molars and you’re kind of held hostage by the spice for a while. I was overly impressed with this and would love to get my hands on some more.
- I have never been a fan of Rose before, not because it wasn’t a well made beer, but because the rosemary was always prominent and Saison Du Buff kind of ruined that in beer for me. With this latest batch the rosemary is much more subdued, and with the addition of some lacto brings a slight tartness to the beer. This is the first time I actually went out of my way to buy a growler of this.
The guys there are doing some really great work and I’m glad to have discovered them while they still getting their feet wet last year and on board with this year’s Barrel Society. They’re only going to get bigger and more successful, so if you haven’t made the trek out to Everett to visit them yet, you definitely make it a priority.
After we filled a couple of growlers, grabbed another couple of Oncemade boxes, Elise’s Barrel Society beers, and some UFF Kombucha (thanks Rob!) we headed on to Tree House for a long overdue visit. While I didn’t get there as early as I’d like, it was still nice to be able to stop and catch up with the crew on a relatively quiet weekday evening, as they just recently started having regular Thursday and occasional Friday hours.
We grabbed a couple of growlers of two new to me beers:
- An Imperial Amber dedicated to Nathan’s Grandmother who recently passed, affectionately known as “Ma” and the namesake of the beer. It had a medium mouthfeel and sharp, bitter hops that stick with you for a while. This will most likely only be brewed once and will still be available this weekend.
- The second beer, a first in a line of experimental brews called Curiosity One was a bright, crisp pale ale with late addition Centennial and Simcoe. It was extremely flavorful without having any over bearing lingering bitterness. Dangerously shotgun-able if it was available in cans. This was the last keg of Curiosity so if you haven’t tried it yet, get their tonight or early Saturday as this will definitely kick this weekend.
Like Night Shift, Tree House is expanding exponentially. The new brew house just arrived in late December and they’re already looking to upgrade again. However, as with any business that’s doing well, there’s always some opposition. Right now they are up against some issues that have caused them to cease offering tastings of the beers they have on tap. If you love Tree House the way I do, they could really use your support in their upcoming town meeting to get tastings back in the barn, and as the weather warms up, back on the patio around the fire and koi pond. I’ll update with details as I get them.