Drink This Now: ‘Brew the Charles’ Beers (Boston Magazine)


Drink This Now: ‘Brew the Charles’ Beers From Castle Island, Idle Hands, and More

In honor of HUBweek, six Massachusetts companies brewed with purified water from a notorious source in Boston.

Brewing a crisp pilsner just made sense to Idle Hands owner Chris Tkach. He wanted to create something that would put the soft quality of the Charles River water on center stage, rather than mask its presence with hops.

“The nice thing about a Czech pilsner is that there’s nothing to hide behind,” Tkach says. “If there’s something that’s off in the water or brewing process, or ingredient-wise, it’s going to show through in the end product. This didn’t [do that] at all—it’s exactly the way we wanted it.”

Adam Romanow had similar feelings about brewing Chuck. The Castle Island founder compared the cleanliness of the water delivered by Desalitech to what the brewery normally uses, if not better. To play up that clarity, he brewed a light cream ale. Romanow finished the beer by dry-hopping it, which he says added some punchy aromatics and a “pillowy” mouthfeel.

Above all, both Tkach and Romanow say these beers are aimed at promoting the uptick in the river’s water quality. The Charles has come a long way in recent years, and it’s only getting better. Let your paranoia fall to the wayside and give these river beers a try.

“I’ve heard it all,” Romanow says. “Is this safe? Is this beer going to make me glow? Did you guys find any school buses in the water when you were emptying it into the tank?”

If you can’t make it out to Brew the Charles, you can still drink these beers around town. Idle Hands is sending a few kegs of Czech For Charles out for distribution, as well as tapping it at the Malden taproomCastle Island canned a portion of Chuck, and there are still a few 4-packs left at the Norwood brewery.

Read the article in Boston Magazine.

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