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Last Tuesday (that would be 3/31/2015 as sickness delayed this posting), Night Shift Brewery celebrated their three year anniversary in way true to their style by releasing three new beers and taking a few things out of the cellar for party.  The festivities started at 3:00 PM and by the time I got there around 5:00 they already had quite a crowd.  My “late” arrive meant that I missed out on a chance to pick up any of the cellared bottles they had put up for sale, but there was plenty of great be had on draft.

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The three beers brewed specifically for the celebration were Mordred, Lancelot, and Guinevere.  Mordred is an oatmeal stout brewed with maple syrup.  It poured black as expected with a half inch tan head into a snifter glass.  The taste has a moderate amount of roastiness to it with just a hint of the extra oats.  Drinks smooth and thick, especially as its given a chance to warm a bit and sweetness from the maple syrup picks up on the finish.  It tastes right about in line with the 7.5% ABV.  A very nice beer and certainly one worth checking out.

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Lancelot and Guinevere are both 3.5% Berliner Weisses, a style Night Shift does very well.  The Lancelot offering was aged with blood oranges and pours a pale yellow straw color.  The smell is very mild and is followed by a light citrusy tartness.  If I had to guess as the fruits without knowing, I would have said watered down orange juice and perhaps some lemon.  This wasn’t a bad beer, but it certainly wasn’t my favorite of the three.  With its light fizzy finish and mild fruity tartness, I could image absolutely crushing this on a warm summer’s day though.

Guinevere, on the other hand, was the absolute stand out beer of the day.  The day before the party, Night Shift announced that they encountered a quality control issue with these bottles that prevented their individual sale to the public.  Apparently it showed signs of unfinished fermentation and rather than risk exploding bottles in people’s homes they are keeping these stored under strictly controlled conditions for serving at the brewery only.  I found this to be extremely disappointing, as QC concerns aside, this beer is absolutely fantastic!  It pours a delicious golden copper and has a huge juicy apricot taste with a good tartness to it.  If I could sign a waiver for a few bottles of this, I would do so in a second.  This is a fantastic beer you should make an effort to try if you have the opportunity.

All in all they debuted a very nice set of beers and certainly had a very good showing.  I know I enjoyed himself and can’t wait to see what comes in Year 4.  My guess is more great beer and random owl sightings.  Cheers!

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