Night Shift Nets $3 Million Loan for ‘Shinier Tours and More Beer’
In the midst of a huge year for Night Shift Brewing, the company just signed a deal to ensure the growth will continue. Cofounders Michael Oxton, Michael O’Mara, and Roberts Burns closed on a $3 million loan yesterday and put into action plans to upgrade their fermentation system, barreling program, and research laboratory, install a grain silo, and more.
“It basically allows us to amp up our production and put money into quality control processes around the brewery, as well,” Oxton says.
The biggest investment will be in 11 new, 60-barrel fermentors and one 120-bbl. brite tank, arriving in waves throughout the rest of 2016.
“We’ll have three arrive in the next couple weeks that will give us an immediate boost,” Oxton says. Currently, the 10-person production team is on track to brew 10,000 bbls. of beer this year, and the additional tanks will increase that to just under 20,000 bbls. in 2017, he says.
“We want to focus on doing more sours and barrel-aged stuff, and one-off varieties, but [the added capacity] will be a big boost to the canned flagships,” he says, like the recently award-winning American IPA Santilli. The new tanks will also give the team the space to consistently brew versions of the rotating IPA series, One Hop This Time.
Night Shift also plans to build a temperature-controlled barreling room, and consolidate the 400-plus oak barrels currently stored throughout their production area. The company will also install a drive-in cooler, which will ensure all of its four-packs go from canning line to package store without ever warming to room temperature.
A few investments will up the brewery’s efficiency: a grain silo, which will be branded and visible from Santilli Highway; an automated Pak-Tech (can carrier) applicator; and an additional whirlpool vessel. Night Shift’s in-house lab will get new equipment, too, including a system that better detects beer spoilage, which is an asset for the barreling program in particular, Oxton says.
Finally, some of the money will go toward aesthetic improvements to Night Shift’s current taproom, like patio upgrades and new signage.
The loan, secured from Eastern Bank, has been in the works for several months, Oxton says. Simultaneously, Night Shift has been investing in its own growth. The brewery installed a $250,000 canning line in March, and added tanks over the winter that increased its output from 5,000 bbls. A 2,500-square foot taproom addition is currently under construction, slated for an August unveiling. Currently, Night Shift employs 46 people, and Oxton expects that number to grow this year.
Oxton says fans of Night Shift shouldn’t expect any disruptions.
“It’s all enhancements, and it doesn’t slow us down us all,” he says about the impending projects. “The tours around the brewery will have more stainless. So, shinier tours, more beer, and it will be awesome to tour people into our barrel room once that’s up and running.”
Night Shift Brewing, 87 Santilli Highway, Everett, 617-294-4233, nightshiftbrewing.com.