Idle Hands Craft Ales / Enlightenment Ales is a small, local, artisanal company that exemplifies a “Tank to Truck” fresh beer mentality, which resonates with us here at Atlas Liquors. Recently, Chris Tkach, the owner and brewer of Idle Hands, has had his share of struggles keeping his dream and his business alive. The Everett Wynn Casino had purchased the land where he was brewing his line of top notch brews and handed him a notice to vacate the premises. In an age where it seems impossible to escape a Walmart popping up in every town, what we really lose is the livelihood and talents of the independent craftsmen who have lived locally and create a bit of culture right in our own back yards.
Fortunately for beer drinkers, Massachusetts will not lose another talented brewer just yet. The nice folks down at Night Shift Brewing offered to help Chris in any way they could — which ended up being that Chris would set up his equipment in their facility and continue to brew there until he finds a new permanent residence for Idle Hands. It should be interesting to see what kind of collaborations surface out of this current arrangement. Our mouths are watering already.
So, what is something we can do to support Idle Hands Craft Ales?
Buy their beer!! Currently Atlas has three in stock…
Idle Hands Triplication: Belgian style Tripel 9.8abv. This version of a classic Trappiste style strong golden ale balances their own house yeast with a complex mélange of yellow fruits. Banana, peach, apricot, and pear. The beer is medium to full bodied with a fruity midpalate but the finish is not sweet. Which keeps the beer highly drinkable and refreshing for its alcoholic strength. $8.99 a 750ml Bottle
Enlightenment Ales Titania: A Nordic-style Saison 5.6% abv. A collaboration with the living legend Anders Kissmeyer. Hailing from Denmark Anders has been at the forefront of the Nordic Beer movement. Brewed with Massachusetts Wildflower Honey and a few botanicals, heather flowers, chamomile, and rose hips. This is a very aromatically flower beer which is a pleasure to nose. It is complex in the mouth and very dry in the finish. The beer is finished with Brettanomyces, a yeast strain that adds a funky barnyard element to the nose, and which beer geeks go bananas over. $10.99 a 750ml
Enlightenment Transcendence: American Farmhouse Ale 6.2%abv. There is nothing better with summertime grilled food than a rustic farmhouse ale. These beers don’t brutalize the palate with a heavy dose of hops, instead they provide a more complex yet subtle pairing partner. Citrus and barnyard notes prevail in the nose imparting a rustic old world charm. Fresh vibrant fruitiness in the mouth perk up the taste buds. Stone fruits, grassy, herbacious, and funky. A dry finish completes the experience with a subtle bitterness which tempts the consumer to do just that. Have a little more. $11.99 a 750ml
The thing I enjoy most about Chris’s Belgian-influenced beers is that unless you travel to Belgium and taste the local beers (within the first few months of being brewed), you will have a skewed idea of what Belgian beer really is. Idle Hands’ beers bridge that gap by making very classic Belgian styles while brewing them on a Nanobrewery scale in the next town over. Fresh, funky, classically trained with Jazz sensibilities — I urge you to try these beers as they are a boon to our area. Don’t just take my word for it, visit it us in Medford on Friday, September 11 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM to meet Chris and taste his beers. You will be glad you did.