Continuing on with our Local Brew Series, we’re highlighting one of the newer local brewing establishments today – Night Shift Brewing. A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of visiting the brewery and meeting with two of the three founders – Mike and Michael. From the outside, it’s hard to tell there’s even a brewery in there, but lo and behold we found it, and I’m so glad we did!
Inside of their small warehouse space on a tiny back road in Everett, we found a well laid out brewery, complete a little corner bar dedicated to brewery visitors. My first reaction was – WOW, this is it?! – but upon further inspection I found it to be really well organized and highly efficient. They are able to run all brewery operations from their Everett location, which is pretty impressive when you consider the product they produce.
The Night Shift team brewed their inaugural batch at their current facility on February 2nd, after about 5 years of home brewing. Prior to opening the brewery, the three roommates spent many nights post-day-job brewing batch after batch of beer. When the hobby because too consuming of their time and money, and their interest in making great beer grew bigger, they decided it was time to turn their hobby into a business. Michael quit his job to devote 100% of his time to Night Shift in January, and Mike joined the team full-time in April. Rob is the only remaining founder who maintains a day job, but when he’s not on the clock there he’s working in the brewery. Sounds like a LOT of work to me – Michael even hand-delivers ALL of their beer! but it is obvious that they love what they do.
Michael (pictured above) was kind enough to walk me through the brewery and their beer-making process. While the space is small and the equipment rather minimal, they are able to put out plenty of beer; and it’s really darn good beer. The public must agree, because Night Shift is planning to expand sometime in the future to keep up with growing demand.
What sets them apart is unique flavors and creative, inventive brews. They make traditional styles of beer, but with a signature twist that gives each brew something distinct and different. As Michael told me, “We come up with [new beer styles] by trying to innovate new interesting flavors from a mix of unorthodox ingredients and traditional beer styles, and shift them all into our own creation.”
From their Bee Tea (Wheat Ale brewed with green tea and honey) to their Viva Habanera (Rye ale brewed with agave nectar and aged on habanero peppers), there’s really nothing average about Night Shift, and it’s exciting to consider what they might do next.
I was curious to know where the logo comes from, and it turns out it’s pretty simple. Mike, Michael and Rob used to brew during what they called the “night shift” – the evening hours after they returned home from their paying jobs. And the owl? It’s nocturnal, somewhat like how the Night Shift team used to be (and may still be!) before the opened the brewery. Put those two together and incorporate a hop flower shape – and the logo was born. Michael first drew the logo while they were still home brewing, and it totally stuck when the business opened. Now their brewery space is covered with all types of owls, donated by enthusiastic patrons who can’t get enough of the awesome beer.
The brewery is open to the public twice a week – on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons. With plans to release a new brewery-only brew – the Ever Weisse (named after Everett) – I’d highly recommend a trip out there. They are eager to share their beer, show off their space, and talk to you about all things beer-related. If you can’t get out there but need your brew fix right away, Night Shift beer is sold in about 30 stores and 5 restaurants locally, and is served on draught in 5 bars. You can see that full list here.