Style: Saison fermented with freshly juiced honeydew melons
From: Everett, MA
Brewer’s Note: “Honeydew debuted at our taproom on 4/27/13. We kegged all of Batch #1, so it’s only available in growlers to start (and will be hitting select bars around Boston). If it’s received well, we plan to bottle Batch #2!”
Beer’s label is the infamous Night Shift logo, which is amazing. It’s an owl with a hop cone butt, and I absolutely adore it. I’m not sure why it has taken me this long to review Night Shift’s beers, but I would like to say that they are an awesome group of guys that are doing some really funky and good beers. I love how they are throwing caution to the wind and just brewing strange stuff right off the bat. I feel like everyone in the brewing industry these days is saying “Start with your basics and build your way up.” But these guys are doing funky fruit beer that I like drinking, and they are doing it really well, without developing a killer IPA or Pale Ale, or even a Wit. I’m excited to dive into the world of Night Shift.
The beer pours muddy orange, merging into an amber brown. It pour with a nice finger’s width head of creamy white bubbles and leaves a lacing of light splotchy bubbles. In body the beer is slightly dark and cloudy with just hints of the other side of the glass coming through. On the nose, the beer smells of sweet melon with just slight hint of the vegetal musk of melon. The malt is light and caramelly beneath it with touches of biscuit hitting the nose. Hops seem light and spicy in the beer, giving a nice finishing prickle to the smell. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet with a touch acidic and a light closing bitterness. In flavor the beer begins as sweet melon and really just bumps the flavor fuller and fuller, never closing on a cloying level and always balancing itself with the melons more vegetal flavors as well. The yeast is light and bready in the taste with hints of citrus bread that blend with the beer’s melon very nicely, and there is also slight spice that is presumably coming off the hops. The finish blends the yeast and melon flavors further into a refreshing bite while light herbal bitterness does build up and hiccup into the aftertaste which is slightly grassy with lingering vegetal flavors from the melon and a touch of sweet melon as well. In the mouth, the beer feels on the heavier side of medium with nice creaminess from the carbonation and a slight slickness that presumably comes from the added melons. The mouth is left slick and damp with a decent amount of salivation coming from the acid of the beer. Overall, this is my favorite melon beer that I have sampled so far. It marries beer and melon beautifully and makes it very drinkable and refreshing. This is not a session beer by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a very drinkable and definitely worthy of a summer’s day spent relaxing. Try this beer!
For fun, I did try pairing it with some leftover pizza from the amazing Flying Saucer Pizza Company in Salem, MA. The pairings were actually great, but I did three different types of pizza and don’t feel like writing about them. Overall, a saison is probably not the ideal pairing for a pizza, but it did bring out some great spice in the pizza, while having its melon flavors dampened. It was an interesting pairing.