While preparing to host last year’s We’re Funk’d festival, Night Shift Brewing cofounder Michael Oxton opened up about his company’s early forays into sour brews.
“It was definitely a select group of people,” Oxton said of fans of those 2014 releases. “It wasn’t as huge an appreciation as there is now.”
Four years and 5 million cans of IPAs and stouts later, Night Shift is doing something new with sours: moving them from the large bottle format into the 16-ounce cans they’re known for. The new cans will begin rolling off a newly-purchased second canning line this month.
The Everett brewery is starting its can rollout with Ever Weisse, a mixed fermentation ale made with kiwis, strawberries, and hibiscus. Ricky Weisse — a twist on the classic lime rickey — will follow this summer, with the blueberry-focused Mainer Weisse debuting in the format this fall.
Ever Weisse cans are available at the brewery now and will roll into distribution next week.
Massachusetts beers to drink right now
It’s a strange time of year for beer, with breweries not quite in winter mode anymore but not fully embracing spring, either. But the interlude can lead to creativity, including Cambridge Brewing Co.’s Agave Nagila, a strong Belgian blonde ale aged for one year in tequila barrels with the brewery’s wild yeast culture. Other recent releases worth seeking out include Harpoon’s UFO Pineapple, a new take on the popular unfiltered wheat beer series, and Mayflower Brewing Co.’s Fresh Start, a slightly tart ale hopped with mosaic and citra.
Several New England breweries announced plans for new facilities this week. They include Mystic Brewery, which is planning an expanded brewery and tap room in Malden later this year (it’s currently in Chelsea). The new location, at 11 Charles St., is not far from Idle Hands Craft Ales. Mystic plans to ramp up production (currently capped at 3,000 barrels annually), as well as provide a bigger space for visitors. A new Malden brewpub called Faces is also in the planning stages, slotted for 50 Pleasant St.
Up in Maine, Sebago Brewing Co. just opened a destination brewery on Lower Main St. in Gorham. The new brewery has four times the capacity of the old facility, and will help stock 16 taps of standard, seasonal, and specialty brews. Sebago Brewing has been in business since 1998.Gary Dzen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.