I had a Barrel Society bottle laying in wait for me at Night Shift, so I used the opportunity as an excuse to visit one of my favorite haunts (although, admittedly I haven’t been getting there as much as I’d like lately). While I was away, there were two notable changes that made this visit particularly enjoyable. The first of these is that Night Shift is now sharing their space with Idle Hands Brewing, their old neighbors. Idle Hands found themselves without a place after they were cleared out to make room for a casino and Night Shift has granted them temporary refuge within its walls. The result is a bit more happening on the brewing floor and the addition of a guest tap through which they can serve up some of their beers. The other new addition was two free play classic arcade machines, Centipede and Street Fighter 2. Centipede I can take or leave, but Street Fighter 2 was a lot of fun to play again after all these years. I was a bit rusty but can say I at least put together a good run with E Honda.
It checked in at 6.1% and was billed as a Farmhouse IPA. Poured into a snifter glass it came with a nice two to three finger fluffy white head atop a light straw/golden body. Smell was earthy yeast and just a hint of pepper. The taste was a smooth blend of yeast, malt, and light amount of pepper. There wasn’t a lot about this that brings to mind an IPA for me, though a subdued hop presence on the finish blended in quite well with the more upfront peppery taste. Mouthfeel was very soft with a medium plus body. I’m not always a huge fan of this style but this was obviously well made and I could see myself drinking more of it. The key for me was that the pepper didn’t blow away the other subtle flavors in the beer, allowing me to enjoy the subtleties.
My second beer of the evening was an old Night Shift standby, Ever Weisse. Released yearly as part of their Berliner Weisse series, this is one of the beers that brewery built its reputation on. It’s a sour ale aged with strawberries, kiwis, and hibiscus. The most recent batch was released just over a week ago, and this was my first time tasting it since last year. It poured a distinct golden pink color that strongly resembles grapefruit juice and smells fruity and just slightly funky. The taste was also quite distinct with tons of sweet strawberries and just the right amount of tartness. Nothing crazy, but just enough to let you know you’re drinking a sour. The mouthfeel is syrupy thick with a little bit of fizz at the end. At just barely over 3% this was a great, tasty, and easy drinking beer on hot a summer day.
This was definitely a good visit. Two good beers from two good breweries, all under the same roof. Add in the video games and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Looking forward to heading back in a week or so for the next Barrel Society release.