Ep. 44-& Chris & Idle Hands Craft Ales

Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s edition of People & Pints. I finally made the trek out to Malden, MA to visit a brewery that I am very fond of: Idle Hands. As I tried to make clear on the podcast, I’ve enjoyed Idle Hands for quite some time and tried to stay updated on their progress before and during the move from Everett to Malden. Despite an expensive uber (I only late learned there is a T stop nearby) and a dark, cool evening, I felt warm and welcome in the Malden taproom. I spoke with Chris about the growth of Idle Hands and what he tries to impart in his beers. It was a really nice, revelatory chat and we hope you get the chance to fill your idle hands with some delicious beer.

Chris helped shed some light on the origin stories of Idle Hands, saying that his relationship with breweries like Night Shift and others has been “collegial.” A lot of his inspiration and the impetus for Idle Hands, aside from Chris’ homebrewing experience, began with a visit to Maine Beer Co.

On the podcast, we had Idle Hands Brunhilda, a Munich-Style Dark Lager, in steins. It was dark and delicious, a little less full-bodied than I was expecting but certainly a good beer. Chris informed me that it was their first lager and it had the importance and mystique of nostalgia.

We talked for a long time about the way they brew their beer and what Chris likes to focus on. They do some really interesting stuff with yeast but have also added some great IPAs to their lineup.

This was a really fun conversation and I would highly recommend making the trek out to Idle Hands for a visit. Also, the big news that was announced was that Idle Hands will be canning their beers. Thanks everyone for listening and check back soon.

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Ep. 22-& Chris & Jughandle Brewing Co.

Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s episode of People & Pints & Podcasts! I took an early trip down to Tinton Falls, New Jersey to visit the newly opened Jughandle Brewing Co. I had a wonderful chat with Chris Hannigan, one of the co-owners and brewers, on-air but I also talked with Pete and Mike off-air! The Jughandle team is phenomenal and were very willing to spend their morning chatting with me. Normally I have a beer on the show but as it was about 9:30 am, we decided to hold off. On my next trip, I’m sure we’ll be sharing a few beers!

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I ended up coming on a relatively busy morning for the Jughandle team. They had a reporter from a local paper, some homebrewers and an excited 21-year-old with a microphone. Nonetheless, Mike, Peter, and Chris were more than willing to give me their attention and chat for a little bit! When I first arrived Pete took me through the space and we talked about their brewing process and equipment. Pete was very excited to hear that I had started homebrewing and he shared some great tips with me! Pete definitely brought an energy and enthusiasm that I greatly appreciated, peppering our conversation with exclamations like “that’s so cool” and “oh awesome!” He actively shared advice and was genuinely interested in my perspective and my attempts at homebrewing!

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A little bit later, Chris joined us, and I quickly noticed their dynamic which Chris later described as the “yin and the yang.” Chris was also very friendly and warm but spoke more softly and quietly. Regardless, there was certainly an atmosphere of fun and goofiness that connected the yin and yang of Jughandle Brewing.

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On-air Chris specified the “dichotomy” in beer terms, describing his preference for focusing on the hops and Pete’s appreciation for yeast character. Creating that balance is very important for a new brewery and is certainly an important part of the early success of Jughandle. One aspect that I think Chris explained well was the education of his consumer base. They’ve been brewing a diverse style of beers, which makes their selection much more approachable.

I ended up leaving with a crowler of their Kolsch, which I’m very excited to try! I’ve added it to the collection of my beers but hopefully I’ll get to it soon. I’ll be sure to tweet and/or instagram my reaction to it, so be on the lookout for that!

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I hope you enjoyed this episode and be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes!