As Night Shift Brewing continues to carve out its own niche in the Greater Boston craft beer scene, the brewery is spending much of its fourth year in operation expanding capacity and beautifying its facility.
Earlier this month, the brewery, headquartered in Everett, Mass., installed three 40-barrel fermentation tanks and plans to add two additional 60-barrel tanks this October. The new tanks will bring the company’s total annual capacity to 8,000 barrels.
The capacity increases were part of a larger expansion, one that included the addition of 11,000 sq. ft. of storage and production space earlier this year. The company now operates in a 27,000 sq. ft. space, a dramatic increase from the 2,500 sq. ft. facility from three years ago.
Additionally, Night Shift recently overhauled its taproom by giving it a “total furniture makeover,” increasing seating capacity in the process from 80 to 120, bringing total capacity to 232.
All in, the abovementioned projects are expected to cost the company around $150,000, financed entirely by cash flow, according to company co-founder Michael Oxton. But the changes aren’t done there. Oxton said additional upgrades, including another taproom expansion, are expected later this year.
“That project is still being assessed, so nothing definite, but it will likely at least double what we’ve spent so far,” he said.
The added capacity will enable the company to expand its presence throughout the state of Massachusetts, said Oxton. Its packaged lineup, driven by its flagships Santilli (IPA) and Whirlpool (pale ale), is expected to be available at retail throughout most of the state by mid-2016, though the draft expansion “won’t be as widespread,” said Oxton. The company currently self-distributes all of its beer and has no immediate plans to sign with a distributor.
“This model has worked really well for us so far,” added Oxton.
While the vast majority of Night Shift’s business is in Massachusetts, the company had sent a few kegs earlier this year up to Portland, Maine, a not-too-distant and well-established city in the craft beer scene. As production ramps up, Oxton said the company plans to “more and more often” send beer to Portland.
Night Shift is projecting sales of 3,500 barrels this year, up from 1,400 in 2014. Total production for the brewery is estimated to reach approximately 5,000 barrels with 30 percent of the beer being placed in oak barrels for future offerings.