In yet another sign that many American breweries are still feeling the impact of an unprecedented pandemic as well as the reality of the worst inflation in nearly 40 years, the once high flying Night Shift Brewing will cease brewing at its Everett, MA facility and move entirely to contract brewing.
According to the Massachusetts brewery, an inability to secure CO2 (most beer produced in the US is forcibly carbonated by injecting pressurized CO2 into the liquid) that led to the final decision – a decision that moves all of its beer production to Jack’s Abby and Isle Brewers Guild, with whom they already have contract brewing relationship.
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.”
This from Night Shift’s July 27th announcement…
Hey all, sharing some tough news today.
Last week, we learned that our CO2 supply has been cut for the foreseeable future, possibly more than a year until we get more. Breweries depend on CO2 to make beer, so this was pretty awful news to get. Seems like this will be an issue that impacts a lot of local breweries, so we’re probably one of many breweries facing this new threat to our business.
Fortunately, we have contract brewing relationships with Jack’s Abby and Isle Brewers, who have both now offered to brew beer for us and help fill our immediate production gaps. However, there are some other factors at play, and we’ll zoom out for a second to explain the full situation we’re currently facing.
A few years ago, it became clear to us that we’d outgrown our Everett production facility. For a brewery of our size, the space poses many challenges and limitations, including limited storage capacity, short ceiling heights, awkward layouts, and lack of proper loading bays. Our plan was to build a larger facility in Philly, but then COVID-19 hit, and we had to abandon it.
Since then, we made enormous investments in our Everett facility to try and make it more efficient. Despite all the various ways we’ve tried to problem solve it, production in Everett has remained more inefficient than our business can sustain. Our plan had been to continue problem solving, but this latest CO2 issue has basically thrown a huge wrench into any of those plans – threatening even immediate production (e.g. we might not be able to finish canning today).
Given both the immediate and long-term issues at Everett, we’ve made the decision to move the majority of our beer production to Jack’s Abby and IBG. We’re incredibly thankful for these relationships and the support these businesses are showing. On the flip side, what this all means is ultimately one of the most heartbreaking circumstances to ever face our business.
Yesterday, we met with our production team of twelve people and shared the news and the implications. What we shared is that, come October 1, we won’t likely have jobs for many of this team. Everett brewing will continue, but more as an R&D facility with a smaller crew.
We have guaranteed that everyone on our production team will get paid through October 1, regardless of whether there’s work here or no work because we have no CO2.
After October 1, those employees who no longer have jobs here will be given a severance package that accounts for both their seniority and tenure with the business. We will do our best to find roles internally or externally for anyone whose job has been cut because of this situation.
It was an awful, terrible conversation to have with a really wonderful group of people, many of whom have been with us since the beginning.
It’s hard to describe both how thankful we are for them, and how terrible we feel now about what they’re facing.
(All Image credits Night Shift Brewing)