A year or two ago (I don’t remember exactly, it all seems to run together as you start to get old) I was having a Twitter chat with Night Shift brewer Isaac Boucher about our mutual disappointment that Night Shift had decided to not brew any saisons that spring/summer. Isaac and I both love the saison style, and I think many brewers and beer geeks agree, but the style does poorly on large scale, many saisons languish on shelves while IPAs, stouts and some sour styles move quickly. I was especially distressed that Night Shift wasn’t brewing Matisse, their stellar saison that was a staple of the rotation for a while. In a way I understand the issue, for many years I swore that I didn’t like Belgian style beers. While I was quick to embrace heavy doses of hops and rich roasted malt flavors, the yeasty esters were initially too foreign for my palate. The beer that changed my mind was Pretty Things Jack D’Or, and soon after I fell in love with both traditional and innovative takes on Belgian styles, especially saisons which are probably my second favorite beer style. Fortunately Isaac is still fighting the good fight, one of his newest recipes put into production at Night Shift is Pomegranate State, a saison brewed with oats and pomegranate. Night Shift Pomegranate State is available for a limited time on draft and in 16 oz cans, unless you all buy it out and convince breweries like Night Shift to keep brewing awesome saisons!
Night Shift Pomegranate State pours slightly hazy bright pink with a small white head. The aroma features some fruity and spicy Belgian style saison yeast. The yeast also leads the flavor, notes of pear, peppercorn and a little tart cherry. The pomegranate adds a nice fruity and subtly sweet undercurrent that melds well with the yeast. There is minimal hop character, and the malts add body along with hints of oatmeal and bread dough. Pomegranate State is medium bodied and smooth, moderately boozy at 6.4% ABV. The finish is dry with some lingering fruit and yeast flavor. This is a very tasty saison, I really wish there was more appreciation for the style so talented brewers would have incentive to keep making interesting and innovative interpretations of these beers! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Night Shift Reviews:
Night Shift Fluffinity, Night Shift Out of Darkness, Brewery Profile: Night Shift, Night Shift Dynasty, Night Shift Albert, Night Shift Waiting for Anton, Night Shift Matisse, Night Shift The 87, Night Shift Bennington, Night Shift Whirlpool, Night Shift Awake, Night Shift Santilli, Night Shift Maracuya, Night Shift Mainer Weisse, Night Shift Thunder Moon, Night Shift Morph IPA, Night Shift Ever Weisse, Night Shift Grove, Night Shift JoJo, Night Shift Taza Stout, Night Shift Simcoenation