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Here we are with the first post of the new year. It’s been pretty chilly out there so far and it happened that I picked two of the coldest days of the winter to check in on two of Boston’s hottest breweries, the recently re-opened Trillium Brewing Company and my trusty go to Night Shift. Here’s a look at the best of what each had to offer.

Beer Name: Double Dry Hopped Melcher Street IPA

Brewer: Trillium Brewing Company

Style: IPA

ABV: 7.3%

Description: A dry hopped version of the juicy Melcher Street IPA.

Pour Info: Poured same day from a newly acquired 32 oz. growler into my trusty teku glass.

Price: $12.50 for the fill (and the usual $5.00 down on the new growler)

Appearance: Body is a light, golden orange color. A bubbly white head quickly forms and then settles down to around a centimeter.

Smell: It’s tempting to make smell the first category reviewed because of how intense it was. Huge burst of pineapple and tropical fruits when I opened up the growler. The fruitiness was present throughout the pour and coupled with a smell oddly reminiscent of really good dank pot.

Taste: As expected, lots of juicy hops up front but quite as intense as the smell first lead on. There’s a juicy sweetness that remains throughout which blends into a dank and resiny bitterness on the finish. The bitterness was never overpowering or out of balance even though it grabbed you from the first sip and lingered after the last.

Mouth Feel: Medium bodied with some playful carbonation.

Hype Factor: I was pretty eager to try this one. I did walk about three quarters of a mile in snowy 20 degree weather to get to the brewery after all. Ever since Trillium re-opened following their licensing snafu late last year, they’ve been putting out some great looking stuff that has been in very high demand. Remembering how good the regular Melcher Street was, I was very interesting in trying out this version.

Overall: This beer did not disappoint. Great to drink all around and very satisfying as an IPA. It’s probably long gone for grolwer fills by the time I get this post up but I would highly recommend grabbing any bottles left out there.

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Beer Name: Pluto

Brewer: Night Shift Brewing Company

Style: Golden/Wild Ale

ABV: 6.7%

Description: The final release in the 2014 Barrel Society series, it is described as a sour ale aged with raspberries and brettanomyces.

Pour Info: 8 oz. pour from the draft line into a flute glass.

Price: $5.00 for 8 oz.

Appearance: Reddish amber body and a not quite white bubbly head. From a certain angle it looks like the foam takes on some of the body’s coloring in a very light and pale form.

Smell: Has a distinct brett aroma paired with tart berries.

Taste: Very tart raspberries up front with just a hint of funkiness. Sweetness develops as the sip progresses before finishing on a tart raspberry note again. Lots of tart dark fruit and just the right amount of funk.

Mouth Feel: Medium bodied. It has a somewhat thin syrupy finish coupled with a touch of fizzy carbonation. Compliments the beer very well.

Hype Factor: Also high. Night Shift put out some fantastic beers for their 2014 Barrel Society members and I was eager to see how they finished off the series.

Overall: I liked this beer a lot and it was definitely a strong finish to the year. I don’t think it was quite as awesome as the recently released of Mainer Weiss and Big Dipper, which I really loved, but this was definitely a solid beer in its own right. I am curious to see what sitting on my bottle for a month or two does to the big fruit flavor and may have to revisit this post when I do.

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