I haven’t had much time to hang out at my local breweries lately, so it was nice treat to stop by Idle Hands Craft Ales on my home from work the other day and grab a quick flight. At $13 for four 5 oz. samples it was a bit more costly than committing to a full pour, but I was in the mood for some variety.
Fortunately for me there was a good mix of styles available and I was able to try out a pretty diverse set of brews. I started out with Brocktoberfest, a 5.2% marzen, to help get into the spirit of the season. A pretty solid offering, it was approachable and very easy to drink featuring a nice mix of sweet and bready malts with a slight lingering bitterness on the end. Next up was Sig Sour, a hazy straw-colored dry-hopped sour ale. Coming it at only 4.0%, this little beer had a lot of big flavors. It started tart and sour with a lemon/lime combo and finished with a blend of sweeter citrus fruits. Really, really good. Beer number three was Change Up #2, the second installment of their rotating IPA series. I really liked the first batch, but wasn’t quite as into this one. It had a surprisingly pronounced bready malt taste upfront that caught me a bit off-guard, especially with the description saying they had cut down on the malts for this version. The mildly bitter citrusy/grapefruit finish wasn’t bad, but ultimately this wasn’t quite my thing. Finishing out the flight was 34, begrudgingly my co-favorite of the day. Brewed to celebrate the retirement of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz (of whom I am not exactly a fan), I can at least appreciate the brewery’s enthusiasm for baseball. This 6.7% porter had a thick, smooth body and some really great notes of chocolate, roasted coffee, and sweet malt. It was very good and ended the flight on a real high note. I’ll just associate it with a different number 34, like Brian McCann or Nolan Ryan, instead. Yeah, that’s it – Nolan Ryan.