It was once again time to swing by Night Shift Brewing Company to pick up a Barrel Society beer and see what was going on in the taproom. I knew going in there would be a bunch of new beer available, but I was also happy to see that they have expanded their collection of arcade games a bit by adding Road Blasters and Asteroids. Playing Road Blasters again really took me back to my childhood. I am more familiar with the NES port, but the game publishers also got more than their fair share of my quarters on this one back in the day. Cheers to free plays!
My first beer of the afternoon was Cezzane, the fourth entry in this year’s Barrel Society lineup. These beers have been a hot commodity on tap this year and this is actually only the second one I have gotten a chance to try so far. Listed at 10.5%, this saison aged in sauvingon blanc barrels with wildflower honey and Brettanomyces certainly did not disappoint. The smell was subtly sweet and funky. The taste offered more of the same, light traces of honey with a faint funkiness lingering in the background. The finish was dry and quite clearly influenced by the white wine barrels the beer was aged in. The mouthfeel was perfect, thick and smooth, almost creamy with low carbonation. Big fan of this one and torn between wanting to open my bottle right away and letting it sit for awhile. I’ve had some good experiences aging honey beers, so I will put my willpower to the test. A very nice entry into the series for sure and I am happy I got to it while it was still on tap.
For my next round, I went with a flight to check out all the new beers that had been released in the last week or so. First up was an Oktoberfest called Oldenberg, released for a brewery event last weekend. It poured a copper/orange body, as expected of the style. The taste was a bit different from what I’ve been drinking lately as toasty malts outweighed the sweetness that characterizes most of the others I’ve had so far this season. The roasted malts then give way to lager yeast on the finish. I’ve tended to prefer slightly sweeter examples of this style, so this was not my favorite of the year.
Beer number two also debuted last weekend and was rather interesting. Called Pretzelbier, it was inspired by pretzels and they absolutely nailed their goal with this one. The beer tasted bready with a touch of toasty malts and came complete with a hint of salt and a peppery mustard seed finish. Really an interesting brew, but I am not sure how much of this I’d want in one sitting. My guess is something a bit more than a sample glass and less than a few pints. Really well done though and props to them for a food-themed beer that really captured its inspiration.
Next up was the latest installment of the brewery’s One Hop This Time series and showcased Vic Secret hops. This beer was pretty fantastic. It tasted like a blend of orange and grapefruit juice hopped with piney resinous hops. The finish was just a touch breadier than I might have expected but overall this was a top tier beer and my clear favorite of the flight. This series of beers keeps on getting better and better, with this particular one also being one of my favorite Night Shift IPAs of all time as well.
Finishing things off was Awake, a porter aged with coffee beans. This wasn’t a bad beer, but I think it suffered in my mind due to comparisons to Bean Porter. It was a little too roasty for my preference and it didn’t have the same thicker mouthfeel some of their coffee porters have had in the past. Wasn’t my thing, enough said.
So that wraps up another enjoyable visit to Night Shift Brewing. I had a couple of fantastic beers and played some old school arcade games. Not bad for a work night.