At a renovated light Industrial area six miles north of Boston in a well-maintained red brick building, IDLE HANDS BREWERY is the pride of hilly woodland city, Malden. A black-gated entrance with Idle Hands insignia and metal-furnished porch welcomes patrons to the pristine warehouse pub.
Whether leaning towards German lagering, Belgian funk or American spunk, Idle Hands’ gentle touch can be felt with each distinctly soft-toned offering. Founding headbrewer Chris Tkach moved his operations from a tiny Everett storefront to its current nearby space in 2016.
The expansive high-ceilinged rafters add spacious dimension to the sparely furnished interior. LED-bulbed pendulum lamps hang above the twelve-seat serving station where twelve barn-wooded silver metal draught handles carry the brews crafted in the windowed silver barrels. Six cafeteria-styled community tables provide extra seating.
Fabulously boozy Country & Western tunes such as “Drinkin’ On My Mind,” Whiskey Bent & Hellbound” and something about ‘getting his drunk ass home’ play in the background as my wife and I settle into ten Idle Hands suds.
Stylishly robust Edgeworth Pils brought mild floral citrus rind bittering to pungent maize-dried hop musk, fresh-cut grass astringency and cracker-like pilsner malting, leaving zesty lemon wisps on the clean tail end.
Grain-toasted baked breading appeased moderate zwickel lager, Emelyn, leaving musty fungi rusticity on the spicily fig-dried finish.
Approachably brisk dry body, Slate Ale, gathered slightly soured melon rind, lemon-spritzed papaya-raspberry tartness and mild hop bittering above sweet biscuit malts.
Salty-herbed Belgian wit, Blanche De Grace, goes a stylish step further as lemony orange coriander expectancy gets bum-rushed by cologne-perfumed lemongrass, fennel and wildflower illusions over its sedate pilsner-malted wheat bed.
Sweetly bread-crusted Munich dunkelweiss, Brunhilda, aligned toffee-spiced chocolate malts with mossy dried fruiting and earthen nuttiness.
Fermented subtly with Malbec grape must, Mazamomma Cream Ale let bubbly champagne sweetness reach raw-honeyed pale malt dryness.
Interesting, if not fully integrated, mixed culture farmhouse ale hybrid, Rosemary Reimagined, underutilized its sweet potato, candied yam and rosemary adjuncts, but let tannic-soured pinot grigio wining spawn a tartly puckered acidic aspect.
Soft-toned, golden-hazed, New England Imperial IPA, Splitter, allowed yogurt-soured yellow grapefruit piquancy and subtle melon-mango-papaya tropicalia to ride above its malted red wheat spine.
Another tropical fruited NEIPA, yellow-marbled Four Seam strove for sunshiny winsomeness as serene mango-guava-melon sentiments gained dry wood dankness and muted peach-pineapple wisps.
White-peppered lemon zest and honeyed banana-peach sweetness confirmed passionate tripel, Triplication, a boozy (8.9% ABV) elixir with spiced-up peach, pear and pineapple ripeness.