Last Saturday night we braved the elements to head to Night Shift Brewing for the party to celebrate the culmination of the their 2013 Barrel Society. For those not in the know, the Night Shift Barrel Society includes the party, tekus, shirts, first rights to the next year’s membership and of course some exclusive barrel aged beers available only to members. The beers range from wine barrel aged Belgian Double IPAs to golden ales with pineapple and Brett and a few other iterations in between. The Barrel Society party debuted the last two beers to be released for this year.
The first up was Renaissance, a crowd sourced beer where we Society members got to vote on style, barrel type, etc. which ended up being a sour rye ale aged on black cherries in wine barrels.
Next up was Excalibur, a barleywine with maple syrup aged in rum barrels. This beer was definitely sweet, but not over the top. Lot of great flavor from the rum barrels. No heat from the ABV, either. Definitely going to age a bottle of this one for sure.
There were of course a few other surprises on tap for us that evening, including previous Barrel Society releases, a few different selections from the Night Shift experimental “Art” series of beers…
…and their new Bean Porter, barrel fermented in rye and whiskey barrels and infused with coffee and vanilla beans, a collaboration they did with Bean Snowboards. This was one intensely coffee forward brew!
A nice spread of cheese, charcuterie, corn dogs and fried chicken from local vendors kept us full all night.
After a year of not being able to make it to one of Night Shift’s parties and releases they do at the brewery, it was nice to finally make it to one of their events, hang with the guys, meet some of the new staff (and of course indulge in a few bottles at the end of the night). They are definitely outgrowing the space they’re currently in and I’m looking forward to seeing how things shape up at their new facility they’re moving to next year.
I’ll admit, I have some reservations when it comes to brewery societies in general. A lot of breweries have jumped on the bandwagon in 2013-2014, and not all of them seem to be worth it. Some range from simple discount growler programs while others just guarantee you the “right” to buy their beer all for the low, low cost of $250. Some breweries include exclusives that you can only get while being a member, others include beer that’s readily available throughout the year (although some breweries’ “regular” beers may be more accessible than others). Even when you do find a brewery society that is to your liking, shipping through a trustee can get pricey if you don’t live nearby the brewery.
Night Shift’s Barrel Society was perfect for us. It’s a brewery Elise and I both love to support, it’s close enough that we can make the trip out there a handful of times a year to pick up our Society beer among others and explore Boston a little more each time. It includes beer (a huge plus! haha) and the beers they’re doing for the Society are truly unique and experimental. For us, it was a no brainer to join the Barrel Society again.
Memberships are still available for 2014. Check out a little more info at the Night Shift site here. See y’all at next year’s party!