Local Brew Series, Part 5: Pretty Things and Idle Hands

This week we're back with the local brew series, featuring two stunning pieces of Simon Pearce bar-ware and two more local brewers - Pretty Things and Idle Hands. The handled Simon Pearce Windsor Tankard is holding American Darling by Pretty Things, and the taller Simon Pearce Norwich Beaker is holding Pandora from Idle Hands.

Idle Things Craft Ales was founded by head brewer Christopher Tkach, an avid beer fan and beer professional. For over 15 years prior to starting Idle Hands, Chris was involved with local homebrew associations and even became a Certified Beer Judge through the Beer Judge Certification Program. Along with wife Grace - who handles marketing and the "people-related fun" of the business - they started Idle Hands, which focuses on Belgian inspired beers. As stated on their website, "We offer an array of Belgian beers to provide refreshment, compliment a meal, and most importantly, keep those idle hands from making the devil’s playground!"

Idle Hands brews two beers year-round - Triplication (an Abbey Style Tripel) and Pandora (the Belgian Pale Ale pictured here) - and features a long list of special releases throughout the year. They're located in Everett right next to Night Shift Brewing, and also hold open brewery hours on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Stop in, take a tour, and try some beer!

Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project is run by Dann and Martha Paquette, in a rented brewery space in Somerville Massachusetts. They are distinctly different than some of their competitors, since they aren't a brewery, just a beer-loving, beer-making team working on their "project" - the Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project!

Dann and Martha met at a beer festival in Somerville, and moved to Yorkshire, England for Dann to pursue brewing. From there, the story gets a bit complicated, so I'll direct you to their website for the full run-down, but the result of their world travels was returning state-side and starting Pretty Things. As they say about their beer, "These beers are for fun, not for display! Our beers are not precious jewels, they are happy peasants! Our motto is “Good Time Artisanal Beers”: hold us to it!"

Their flagship beer is Jack D'Or, a Saison Americain, and along with Baby Tree (a quadruple) and St. Botolph's Town (a Yorkshire dark brown ale) rounds out the 3 year-round beers they brew, which are accompanied by several seasonal and one-off beers. The beer we tasted for this post was the American Darling, a strong lager and wonderful summer beer. I know it's the end of the season, but if you see one still lingering in your favorite liquor store, snatch it up! You won't regret it.

Since Pretty Things doesn't have their own brewery space, you can't stop in for a visit, but you can find their beer in stores and restaurants all over Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and New York. They also participate in local events, which you can find listed on their website. Check them out soon!