I always thought I didn't like beer, until I learned that it was mostly that I was drinking crappy beer. After tasting a lot of beers at a beer fest, I learned what I did and didn't like.
Over a period of time I started to branch out. And the more I branched, the more I liked. And now I like beer. A lot. I still like beers like wheat beers, I like IPA's, lagers, ales, stouts, porters, and fruity beers. I'm not too into pilsners, though at some times, some pilsners are darn good (saaaay... a Notch Session Pils on a hot summer day).
I'm also really loving the local food movement. And think the increase of local craft breweries is really awesome. It's so inspiring to see people who started as craft brewers in small apartments like mine, with regular day jobs, start up their own brewing and distributing operation.
More often than not, I choose a locally made beer option. And right now there are many great options in the Boston area. I recently sampled some Bee Tea by Night Shift Brewing at my local market, Pemberton. It was so unique that I knew I had to try their other beers.
So when I noticed on their website yesterday that they had "Open Hours" at their Brewery in Everett from 3-10pm that night, I thought, I totally want to check that out. I tweeted them asking if a tour and some samples were possible; and being the customer friendly, generous people they are they basically said "heck yes come by for a tour and tasting."
We showed up around 7pm. Making our way into this weird industrial like area in Everett, seeing the Night Shift Brewery signs we knew we were in the right place. The brewery door was open, a few of the guys were hanging around the wooden bar decorated with awesome owl sculptures and pictures.
As we entered, I introduced myself as the person who had tweeted them earlier about coming in for a tour. So started our tour of their one room operation. As a handful of people around us worked hard brewing beer and cleaning the brewery, we were shown all around. Everything from the tanks, to the fermentation, and the carbonation process, down to the bottling (2 at a time, and then hand labelled and numbered).
Finally we ended back at the bar where we sampled their 4 beers. Trifecta, a Belgian Style Pale Ale, just hoppy enough, not overpoweringly strong, and some undertones of fruit & citrus. Bee Tea, a Belgian style wheat ale brewed with honey and green tea, very complex with hints of orange and honey and a very earthy tasting finish. Taza Stout, a stout brewed with chicory root and ginger, and aged over Taza chocolate nibs, an almost warm, comforting stout. And finally, the Viva Habanero, released on Cinco De Mayo, a rye beer with agave nectar and aged over habanero peppers, an interesting beer with a real spice on the back end.
Personally, I find their beers easy to drink and delicious. The Viva Habanero is the only one I wouldn't be able to drink a lot of; but I can totally see myself drinking it with some tacos or nachos, or possibly just sitting on my porch in the summer.
We left with two pint bottles of beer; unfortunately they didn't have any Bee Tea for us to take home, but they did have two Taza Stouts. I can't wait to drink my stout, and to share these great beers with friends in Boston, and beyond (maybe Philadelphia, where a couple of the brewers happen to be from).
They were seriously great hosts, so if you have time and the desire, check out their open hours. See their operation, hear their amazing history, and try some beers.
Thanks Night Shift Brewing!