Brew Tour at Night Shift Brewing

I’d be lying to you if I didn’t flat out say that Night Shift is located in a complete sketch ball back alley industrial section of town. Not the kind of place I’d suggest you hang out late night alone.

Luckily all of that is worth it once you see this sign, here:

I went there the day of the the Belgian Beer Fest which meant unfortunately, Idle Hands, which is literally right next door, was closed as they were all at the festival. (I did pick a bottle of theirs up at Craft Beer Cellar, though.)

No mind though, I had plenty to do and drink at Night Shift. This is hands down one of the best new breweries I’ve seen in a while. They’re NOT taking the easy route doing traditional, safe beers. Their motto is to brew beers they “can’t find in the store” and they’re doing exactly that. All of them were a style or a twist on a beer that I’ve never seen before and every single one of them was tasty as hell.

The first thing you notice, after the Night Shift “Hop Owl”, are the plentiful owls that are all around their store front. They say that all of them has been given to them by friends and fans. I’ll have to remember that the next time I’m around.

As I bellied up to the bar to try a little something of everything, I noticed something sitting on the counter: a wood Oncemade Beer box.

Now, if you don’t remember the splash this thing made when it was first announced, there was a bunch of grumbling about Pintley putting this together, two relatively new, untested breweries “converging” (yes that was a Backlash pun) on this box set, and it commanding a pretty penny as well ($45 for the two bottle set). I have to say, after making the visit to Night Shit, chatting with Mike for a while, seeing their operation, and tasting all of their beers, any reservations that I had about the set are gone. They make some damn good beers and they know what they’re doing. Since you can only pick it up locally, I’ll have to coordinate with Craft Beer Cellar to see if they can hold my set (or two) until I can get back out that way to pick it up after it’s been released on the 15th. We’ll see.

After having a few samples I asked Mike if he could give me a tour of the place. It’s small, but there’s still plenty to look at. You can tell they’re still growing and it’s cool to see remnants of their smaller brew setups here and there, there’s even a whole room dedicated to their sours. There’s a lot going on here for a small, all hand made operation. This is the type of place that I’m sure super homebrewers go to and just drool over it since it’s really not that far out of reach from the process that they do on their weekend brews except on a bigger scale.

I was able to try several of their beers although not all of them were available in bottles to take home:

  • Somer Weisse
  • Trifecta
  • Bee Tea
  • Viva Habanera
  • Rose
  • Quad Reserve

After being there for about an hour and half, sipping on beers, bullshitting with Mike and a couple from Minnesota (who surprisingly did NOT have the kindest words to say about Darkness Day and Surly in general??) I decided it was time to make my way back home. I grabbed a bottle of everything they had and a new shirt for Elise. Check out the haul post here.


Night Shift Brewing (link) | 3 Charlton Street #9, Everett, MA (map) | All Night Shift Posts

Beer Run at Craft Beer Cellar


I gotta say, I walked away from this place very impressed. This is exactly the kind of bottle shop I’d love to see in the Capital District: a no bullshit, craft beer-only focused beer store, with none of the BMC beer, lotto, and cigarettes found in stores around here.

I also really dig the way they have their bottles set up. It’s separated by imports and domestic, and within that, it’s organized from East Coast to West Coast. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen beer organized this way and it made it very easy to find what you’re looking for.

They even had an awesome selection of glassware, mustards, hot sauces, shirts and other beer related swag. It was a nice touch, and I definitely could have blew the beer budget on stuff like that alone.

It was great to see a meadery in stock there that I have had my eye on for a while: B. Nektar Meadery. I couldn’t help but pick up some Zombie Killer along with the rest of my haul before heading to Night Shift Brewing. If you’re making the trip to Boston for some reason, go out of your way to hit up Craft Beer Cellar. You won’t regret it.

Eggs Benny at The Breakfast Club

Some serious grub was in order after a long day of drinking before and at Night of the Funk. A quick check of local breakfast spots on Foursquare told me The Breakfast Club was where it’s at. I packed up my travel bags and headed on the way.

From the outside it looks like a typical diner but the inside changes things dramatically. The entire diner from the decor to the soundtrack and the menu is all 80s themed with movies posters and old school lunch boxes on every wall.

The breakfast itself was solid, but I’ll be honest I’m kicking myself for not going with one of their Library Specials, all named after characters from The Breakfast Club. Next time…

Volunteering at Night of the Funk

The Alstrom Brothers

This was my first experience volunteering at a beer festival. At the time I signed up, I figured I’m not a huge sour fan (although I like them much more now) so volunteering for the fest and getting a couple of half hour breaks to try some of the can’t miss sours was going to be perfect.

After hitting up Deep Ellum and Lord Hobo, I headed on over to the Cyclorama. I actually really liked this venue. It’s so much more beautiful than your typical convention center, like where American Craft Beer Festival is held, with tons of character, exposed brick, trussing on the ceiling, and one of the most interesting bathrooms I’ve ever seen.

My first duty was to help coordinate the making of all the signs for beers that were present but were missing signs. While there were a lot of signs already made from the night before, there were still plenty to be made the day of.

I received my assignment and schedule for the night. I’d be pouring Liefmans, Lindemans, Lindemans, and Oud Beersel all night. The Liefmans Goudenband kept my cup full for the evening.

Hey look who was at the table right next time me! Social media beer nerd extraordinaire Emily (Bagel) Ragle! (Yes I’m aware I look like shit in this pic, oh well.)

The folks from the Cellars at Jasper Hill were only a few tables down from me. Needless to say I made more than a trip or two down there for samples.

The guys from Armby Abbey and Deep Ellum all came over to say hi at some point in the night and I got the chance to chat up Shaun Hill from Hill Farmstead and Rob Burns of Night Shift Brewing during my couple of breaks. After cleaning up the volunteers all had the opportunity to hang around for an hour or two and drink what was left of the kegs at the end of the night.

Overall I had a great time, but I wouldn’t be being honest with you if I didn’t think I would have had a better time just going to the festival itself. There were a few beers that I missed out on, some not listed on the website before I left for Boston, and I just couldn’t do the research on my phone in time to know what I was missing. And I could definitely have spent the whole night mingling and meeting new people from the Boston area and getting an idea of how to spend the rest of my weekend (not that I had any complaints about how it turned out). Let’s just say I won’t be volunteering for Night of the Barrels.

Lunch at Deep Ellum

Deep Ellum

– I had a short 40ish hours to spend in Boston for my Belgian Beer Fest weekend and I wanted to make the most of it. I had a few stops in mind, but volunteering for the set up, night session and cleanup for Night of the Funk meant my time on Friday had to be spent wisely. Deep Ellum was one of the few places on my list that was actually open for lunch on Fridays so after an early check in to my hotel I made my way there.

Daytime street parking was a bitch and a half but the frustration was well worth it. The outside was your typical brick and mortar store front with a fairly nondescript sign overhanging the entrance, but the front door opened up to magnificence.

The first thing you notice (at least in the daytime) is the big beautiful skylight that brings in absolutely perfect natural lighting onto the bar (which I drooled about in my teaser post), topped with some surrounding belt-driven ceiling fans strattled by bar seating on your left and half bench, half chair seating on your right.

I quickly looked over the draft menu to see there was something for every type of beer nerd, for the localvores with plenty of beers from High and Mighty, Pretty Things, and Idle hands, to the hopheads with Green Flash’s West Coast IPA and Stone’s 16th Anniversary (which still hasn’t hit the Capital District yet), to the sour fans all of whom would be in town for that night’s festival.

I’ll admit, I’m used to drinking with friends and splitting various bottles throughout the night, and I’m a bit spoiled lately in being able to get small pours at both The Ruck and The Bier Abbey. So it was a little bit of a let down to be limited to strict glass sizing and not be able to try as many of the beers as I would have liked to from such a great beer menu. That didn’t stop me from having a few before heading to the Cyclorama, though:

  • Strawberry Short Weiss – Smuttynose Brewing Co.
  • Baby Tree – Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
  • Collaboration No. 3: Stingo – Boulevard Brewing Co.

Of course I needed some eats to go with all of that beer and anything that reads “house-made sausage” I’m all over, especially when it claims to be “The Best Wurst Appetizer”. The sausage was phenomenal, with the perfectly paired mustard and great pickled carrots, snap peas, and cauliflower (which given it’s fairly neutral flavor made the pickling brine POP in a way I really loved).

Deep Ellum was absolutely fantastic and will definitely be on my radar the next time I’m in Beantown. I was planning on sticking around sipping on beers the rest of the afternoon until it was time to head to Night of the Funk, but then I saw this message on Lord Hobo’s facebook page:

I immediately got out of my seat and headed over. There was a nice Vermont surprise when I got there, too.