A real husband and wife team, Chris and Grace Tkach pool their experience and sensibilities as founders and owners of Idle Hands Craft Ales. Their story speaks to the power of doing what you love and infusing business with collegial and caring practices.
Like a community center, which just happens to offer amazing craft brews, the Idle Hands microbrewery that Chris and Grace began in Everett in 2010, now stands at 89 Commercial Street in Malden. And it bubbles — with connection, conversation, and great beer. There’s no TV, but there is a room full of communal tables and cards to prompt discussions if you’re shy. Yoga classes, beerunch, 5k runs, and a coming Oktoberfest are also offered as opportunities to gather and meet others in Malden.
The beer, made in true artisanal fashion to produce a range of flavorful Belgian and American styles, offers hints of lemon, or orange, chocolate, or even sweet potato. These beers are brewed with just enough experimentation to keep things interesting, but are first and foremost created for the enjoyment of those who love good beer. Flavors have even been tweaked or added in response to customer feedback.
This back and forth, like a conversation among friends, taps into the spirit Chris and Grace Tkach bring to their enterprise. It is a spirit which reflects the camaraderie many craft brewers enjoy amongst themselves. They help each other out with supplies, recipes, encouragement and even, as Night Shift did when Idle Hands was suddenly evicted from its original location, offer brewing space to a fellow brewer.
Idle Hands is a lifestyle business. It’s not about the money first, but about offering something of value that the owners can sustain and live with over time. That is to say, Chris and Grace do what they love – which is to brew beer and serve people. And that’s the community brew you can taste at Idle Hands – an open, honest invitation to come in, bring a friend, drink good beer, have a good conversation, and come back again.