Welcome to the Boston Better Beer Bureau, our latest incarnation of the trusty suds reporting we’ve done at DigBoston ever since people referred to beer as suds. Really, we remember the days when we’d spend half our checks on fancy German bottles just so that we could review them, whereas these days breweries from all around New England kindly send us samplers and stay in touch. The BBBB is a new attempt to return that love, all while sharing more news about the innumerable microbreweries and pubs among us.
We’ll get right to it—this limited exclusive number is so consummately tart that we’ve been cracking cans and sipping water between gulps, trying to preserve as much of a terrific tongue rush as we got on our first tilt.
Before we get to the downright joy this Night Shift-Destihl collabo can bring to your life (at least for as long as it’s available), let’s explore some of the background. Dig readers already know all about Night Shift—it’s the Everett brewery that innumerable beer drinkers and brewers around here sweat immensely, and the reputation is deserved. From standbys like its Whirlpool APA that we can’t live without (that’s an exaggeration, sure, but really, don’t take the stuff away from us) to one-offs like Ain’t Nothin’ Normal, it is routinely brilliant at producing cans worth writing home about.
As for Destihl, based in Normal, Illinois, the brewery is hot shit itself, having racked up stripes and accolades in its own corner of the country just like Night Shift has in these throes. From the flavor we are feeling in this go-round with its Greater Boston homeys—the product was assisted by Night Shift, but actually brewed out in the Land of Lincoln—its hype also seems to have roots in reality. For this unique matrimony, Destihl brought its notable kettle sours program to the table, while Night Shift dropped some hoppy knowledge. As they dually explain: “We split this batch in two, brewing half normally and kettle-souring the other half. After both batches were united in one fermenter, we added boysenberry and dry-hopped with a bunch of Mosaic and Citra.”
The result: candy. Close your eyes and recall what it felt like to stick your tongue inside of a bag of Lik-M-Aid or Fun Dip as a kid on a break from the schoolyard, and you’ll begin to understand the sort of magic in play here.
While we’re guilty of drinking a lot of beers out of their gorgeous cans instead of pouring them like civilized aficionados and unleashing the most standout and explosive sides of their sweet and tart smorgasbords, for this occasion we went so far as to chill a glass. You’ll want to do the same, as the raspberry iced tea glow of this concoction adds a visual dimension that’s worth an ogle.
Just try not to blink from all the beauty, bitterness, and boysenberry. This stuff’s hard to come by; you don’t want to miss out while it is still around.