EVERETT, Mass.,– Idle Hands Craft Ales LLC announced the closing of their Everett, Massachusetts brewing facility due to a displacement by the Everett Wynn Casino project. The local craft brewery, recently recognized as one of the top local craft breweries in New England by Boston Magazine, is one of several local businesses located at 3 Charlton Street that has been forced to vacate its location by June 30 as a result of the building being razed in favor of a construction access road for the Wynn casino project. The brewery’s future is uncertain as the owners, customers and fans await the fate of the Boston market’s first nanobrewery.
“While we are saddened our need to move is happening this quickly, we also always knew our home on Charlton Street would not be our last. We see this change as a minor setback that just forces us to pursue the next chapter sooner,” shares founder and owner, Chris Tkach. Despite an inevitable move, Tkach and his wife were surprised when they only received 4 months formal notice to vacate in February of this year.
Tkach has been searching for a suitable new location for 12 months now. Even if a new commercial lease were signed, moving and resuming brewery operations takes months. Not only does equipment and product need to be relocated, the business also needs to resubmit for both federal and state licensing, a process which could take up to 120 days based on the current federal estimates for license reviews.
“Idle Hands Craft Ales & Enlightenment Ales have become two of our core brands, in the Boston market…their offerings have enriched our local beer community,” shares Suzanne Schalow, cofounder of Craft Beer Cellar, a family of independently owned craft beer retail stores that begun in Belmont. “We look forward to continuing to support this team as they transition to a new brewery and get back on-line.”
The good news is that Idle Hands is in negotiations with a landlord for a new lease close to the Everett location but Tkach will not comment definitively “until the ink is dry”. He indicated that the staff ramped up production the last few months anticipating a period of being “off line”. They have also arranged to tenant brew at former neighbor, Night Shift Brewery until a new facility is operational. Local bars, restaurants and package stores have committed to continue selling the company’s beers though availability will be limited due to lowered production levels.
“I’ve personally enjoyed drinking and serving both beers because of the high quality and varied mix of styles they offer. I know my customers will be saddened [by the limited offerings]…but we plan to serve their beer whenever we can get our hands on it during their transition,” comments Max Toste, owner/beer manager of Deep Ellum in Allston.
“We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and frankly, personal financial investment into the brewery,” comments co-owner and wife, Grace, “and we have no intention of closing.”
About Idle Hands
Idle Hands was founded in 2010 as a privately owned, craft brewery with a production facility in Everett, Massachusetts. It was the first nanobrewery based out of the Boston area and one of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s smallest commercial breweries for our first few years of existence, producing only 1.5 barrels (or 46 gallons) of beer at a time. In August 2013, the brewery maintained its footprint in Everett but increased production capacity to earn status as a microbrewery. Idle Hands then partnered with the Enlightenment Ales brand in 2014, making it the only US brewery to produce biere de champagne regularly in the United States. Idle Hands has predominantly focused on Belgian inspired craft beers but recently expanded into other traditional German styles. Enlightenment Ales focus on “urban farmhouse” beers. Both beer brands are brewed, bottled and distributed all within the local Boston market.