The Everett Beer Trail? Really? Really. Though the trail may be short – consisting of just two breweries located side by each – the visit is rewarding. After being wowed at the Hyper-Local Brewers Festival in June, visiting Night Shift Brewing and Idle Hands Craft Ales had been on my to-do list. But it was summer – the beach continually beckoned. Finally, with a change in weather, I was free to hit the trail. My excitement about the trail is that these are my neighborhood brewers. (The Anheuser-Busch plant in Medford doesn’t fit into my world view.) Once, having a neighborhood brewery wouldn’t have been exciting; beer – along with most agricultural foodstuffs – was local. First came the railroad, then the interstate highway system and lastly air freight; eventually the food supply system depended upon production not only far away but commodified and industrialized. Thankfully, there has been a turnaround in this paradigm: agriculture in some small way is seeking to reclaim its soul by again going local. If you like this turn of events, then support those who enrich your lives with their artisanal foodstuffs. But now – after that sermon – getting back on track and hitting the trail.
The beginning of the Everett Beer Trail
Further along the Trail
Both breweries – or nano-breweries due to their small production – are located in a funky warehouse off scenic Rt. 99 in Everett; located as I said earlier beside each other. Both were started by hobbyists who – fueled by their passion for the brew – went pro. In the case of Night Shift, three friends – Rob Burns, Mike O’Mara and Michael Oxton – spent years brewing in a Somerville kitchen and tasting lots of beer. At Idle Hands, Chris Tkach began his career with a simple “brew-your-own” kit and was hooked. His future wife Grace came on board when she ordered a Chimay on their first date. Though geographically close, the beers they brew are quite distinct.
Night Shift is focused on innovation – great beers brewed utilizing unique ingredients. At Idle Hands, the focus is on Belgian-inspired ales. Together, sampling through each of the offerings in their respective tap rooms makes for a rich and wide ranging experience. A great way to spend a fall afternoon!
Both breweries are open for tours, tastings and sales of both beer and sundry merch/schwag. Check websites for hours and special events. Both are located at 3 Charlton St. Everett MA.
My purchases – Somer Weisse, Rose, Blanche de Grace, Triplication