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Popular Massachusetts Beer Company Night Shift Will Mostly Switch to Contract Brewing

Night Shift cites a CO2 shortage as a driving factor behind stopping most of its production in Everett, a move that will bring layoffs to its 12-person production team in October

A stack of beer cans inside a cardboard container. The container reads, “Night Shift Brewing,” and the cans are adorned with a graphic owl logo. Night Shift Brewing

On July 27, Everett-based Night Shift Brewing announced via a lengthy Instagram post that it would be moving the majority of its beer production to Jack’s Abby and Isle Brewers Guild via contract brewing relationships (each of which already brews some of its beers) and likely laying off most of its 12-person production team as of October 1. The decade-old brewery cited C02 supply issues as an immediate driving factor behind the decision but discussed other issues the company has been facing in recent years, primarily that it has outgrown its Everett facility, and the pandemic canceled a planned expansion to Philadelphia that would have eased the issues with the original location.

A report in beer publication Good Beer Hunting digs deeper into the decision, detailing a difficult few years for Night Shift: spending millions to accelerate growth but running into hurdles scaling the business, canceling the Philadelphia expansion, selling off its distribution company, and spending a lot to upgrade equipment but not ultimately solving logistical problems at the Everett space. The CO2 issue may have been “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” as Night Shift cofounder Rob Burns told Good Beer Hunting, but deeper issues have been looming for several years.

Night Shift’s announcement notes that none of its taprooms or beer gardens will close, and the contract brewing relationships should mean that there won’t be major disruptions to the beer supply. Once CO2 issues are worked out, the Everett space will likely be used to continue to brew beer, but on a smaller research and development scale. “This is a huge threat to our business, but the business itself is not dissolving,” the team writes, noting that the production team will be paid through October 1, whether or not there’s work to do, and those ultimately laid off will receive severance packages. “We will do our best to find roles internally or externally for anyone whose job has been cut because of this situation,” Night Shift writes. Layoffs are not expected for the company’s non-production employees, about 140 people.

In addition to its Everett taproom and brewery, Night Shift has a taproom, brewery, and coffee roasting facility in Boston’s West End, which opened in early 2019, as well as a beer hall at Natick entertainment venue Level99 and a restaurant at Everett casino Encore Boston Harbor. Night Shift also operates several beer gardens in and around Boston; a couple have been up and running for a few years now, but the number has exploded to six this summer.

Night Shift Brewing is perhaps best known for its core lineup of hoppy beers, including the hazy pale ale Whirlpool and the American IPA Santilli, as well as its light lagers, especially Nite Lite. But the rotating sour ale series is well-loved, too, and Night Shift also delves into fruity hard seltzers, a bit of wine and cider, and the aforementioned coffee. The company was founded in 2012 by a trio that began homebrewing as a hobby five years earlier.

Night Shift Brewing is located at 87 Santilli Highway, Everett; 1 Lovejoy Wharf, Suite 101, Boston; and beyond.

Night Shift Brewing, Inc.

87 Santilli Hwy, Everett, MA 02149 (617) 294-4233 Visit Website

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