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Back in 2007, Michael Oxton and Rob Burns—along with their fellow co-founder, Mike O’Mara—started what would become Night Shift Brewing in a Somerville kitchen with a five-gallon “boil kettle,” a Gatorade cooler “mash tun,” and some simple recipes. After long days at their respective desk jobs, they’d end up brewing into the wee hours. Next time you crack open a Night Shift can, note the hand-sketched owl logo: that nocturnal bird is a symbol of the brewery’s humble beginnings.
As demand for the suds began surging among friends and family, the team realized they had more than a hobby on their hands. By March 2012, doors opened at their first official facility, which they’d soon outgrow. Exploring an array of beer styles, the brewing trio has seen nonstop success, opening a larger Everett space in May 2014 and a huge spot on Lovejoy Wharf in March 2019.
You may have daydreamed about quitting your desk job to start a successful craft brewery—but would you actually take the plunge? We sat down with Night Shift Brewing co-founders Michael Oxton and Rob Burns to find out how they turned late-night homebrew sessions in their apartment into a fast-growing craft beverage and distribution business.
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