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. SIGN UP FOR THE FREE BBBB NEWSLETTER HERE.
I saw a documentary about crop circles once in which a bunch of dudes with a whole lot of time on their hands showed how they make giant marks in fields that look like massive alien etchings using no more than some rope and a board. It’s enough to make a sane person with regular brain function abandon a silly belief in supernatural insanity and to spur natural skeptics like yours truly to look for special activity right here on earth.
One thing I have come to actually believe in since then, along with countless other fans of superior suds, is Night Shift Brewing in Everett. Believe me when I say that I deplore adoring things that everybody else loves—seriously, I work for an alternative newspaper, and historically we have typically loathed everything that the collective public approves, even if we secretly love it. Night Shift, however, is one of the rare popular beasts that we can’t in decent faith ignore, a brand so consistently superior to many of its peers that we would truly look like dopes if we instinctively pulled the we are hipsters and this isn’t cool on principle card in critiquing them.
Wait a second, where were we? That’s right, we’re supposed to be reviewing the Everett brewery’s Crop Circles New England IPA. I think it is designed for people who have been downing Night Shift staples such as Whirlpool and Mosaic, and who need some change without wandering too far off of the reservation. I’m so satisfied with this selection that I hate to reach in ascertaining what exactly makes it sing—it’s probably not the best testament to Crop Circle’s subtle brilliance, but the most impressive thing about this beer may actually be what it is not: Not too pretentious, nor too light, hazy, or sweet, it’s balanced magic in a goddamn can.
As for what it actually is—again, we’re working with another Night Shift offering that flirts with the same sensibilities that several of its various ale cousins comparably fondle. Technically, from what I gather, the process behind this particular exquisite potion involves El Dorado and Idaho 7 hops, plus whatever the hell else it takes to stir up an incredibly bodacious brew.
That’s all I really need to know. The phenomenon of crop circles appearing in fields may have been ruined for me years ago, but at least it’s somewhat of a mystery how Night Shift manages to brew beer after beer that tastes out of this world.
Citizen Strain/Grain is an amalgamation of a bunch of us who, in addition to the hard and oftentimes depressing journalism we report for the Dig, also enjoy sampling and writing about the various beers, spirits, and cannabis products that vendors from near and far send our way. If you want us to check out your product, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.