On our most recent exploration of beers, we've come across two with very distinct ingredients we had to share. And no, it's not an interesting fruit or even an unheard of spice. It's way more surprising than that and both unique ingredients come from the sea. Just what could they be? Read on to find out!
Night Shift Brewing
Night Shift Brewing was founded in 2012 by a trio of friends with a shared passion for homebrewing. Through culinary inspiration and determined innovation, they aim to create memorable craft beers that offer a wide array of unique, complex flavors. The friends began homebrewing in a Somerville, MA kitchen in 2007, starting with a 5-gallon "boil kettle," a Gatorade cooler "mash tun," and some basic starter recipes. Over time, they refined their process, enhanced their recipes, upgraded their equipment, and were soon homebrewing well past midnight 2-3 times per week. They called themselves "Night Shift Brewing" - desk workers by day, homebrewers by night.
By 2009, Night Shift was sampling their own brews against every commercially available style, brand, and region possible. They realized that while not everyone makes truly great, memorable beer, anyone could make it with enough dedication, passion, and knowledge. In 2010, the friends started writing a business plan to begin their own nanobrewery. By 2011, they had raised a small amount of capital and began building a 3,000 sq. ft. 3.5BBL brewery in Everett, MA. On Saturday, March 31, 2012, they opened their doors for the very first time.
Night Shift spent two years growing into (and then out of) their first Everett location. With increasing demand and production, they finally made the move and in May of 2014, they opened the doors to their current 30,000 sq. ft. space. They now work with a 20BBL brewing system, a field of 20BBL, 40BBL, and 60BBL fermenters, and a growing collection of oak barrels. On a daily basis, Night Shift welcomes guests into their 2500 sq. ft. Taproom so that they can share their beers, their space, and their story. With no surprise, Night Shift's products are currently self-distributed to a group of retail and restaurant partners in MA and are making way into nearby states as we speak.
There's little more we have to say to show just how creative Night Shift is...but we will! It's time to talk about their specialty brew, highlighting an ingredient from the sea. Can you guess what that is? Crassostreas virginicas. What? Simply speaking--oysters! Their Harborside beer is a Gose-style sour ale brewed with coriander and oysters from Island Creek Oysters. How incredible is that? And trust us, it is tasty! We recommend stopping by their brewery today for a sample.
Next up, Oxbow!
Oxbow is an American farmhouse brewery specializing in traditional Belgian-style ales with contemporary American influence. They brew small batches of beer in a renovated barn in rural Newcastle, Maine. Their beers can be found in fine bars and restaurants throughout Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC. The Oxbow tasting room is located at 274 Jones Woods Road, Newcastle, Maine and is currently open 5 days a week on Wednesdays through Sundays from 12-7pm. Oxbow Blending & Bottling tasting room is located at 49 Washington Avenue, Portland, Maine and is open 7 days a week, Sunday through Thursday, 12-9pm, and Friday & Saturday, 12-11pm.
Now what could possibly be the second ingredient from the sea Oxbow is brewing with? The Homarus americanus. The what now? The good ol' Maine lobster! Meet the Saison Dell'Aragosta; a Gose-inspired seaside saison brewed with live Maine lobsters and sea salt. A specialty brew made in collaboration with Birrificio del Ducato of Parma, Italy. Saison Dell’Aragosta shows some serious effervescence in the glass, with hundreds of tiny bubbles racing to form a sea-foamy head. Oxbow uses words like “floral,” “fruity,” and “citrusy” to describe how the beer smells. And we've heard it tastes salty and tart, like squirting a lemon onto your fresh seafood! At 4.5 percent ABV, it’s unequivocally refreshing. We can't wait to get our claws on this brew!
If you're searching for a summer beer to accompany the taste of the salty sea, look no further. Both Night Shift and Oxbow got you covered! Devour the details of the tale of these two brews and enjoy the hints of these surprising ingredients before beach season ends!