Employee Spotlight: Dan McDonnell, Taproom Manager

If you’ve been by the brewery lately, you’ve probably noticed that we filled all the available positions that were posted earlier this summer. Now that we’re past the grand opening, it seems like a good time to begin introducing you to these new members of our team.

Our employee Q&A series began with Brett back in May. Today we’ll learn more about Dan McDonnell, our new Taproom Manager.

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How long have you worked at Idle Hands?

2 months now. I just joined the team before the opening of the new Malden brewery and tap room.


When and how did you first learn about Idle Hands?

About 4 years ago I was working as a bartender at Atwood’s Tavern in Cambridge and that’s where I got my first taste of Idle Hands. My manager told me I needed to try every beer we had available and I told him I would gladly take on that challenge. Idle Hands Pandora was the first new beer that I tried when I started working there.


What were you doing before you started working at Idle Hands?

I’ve been bartending and managing in the Boston restaurant scene for the last 6 years. I worked in Faneuil Hall for about 3 years, 2 years at Atwood’s Tavern in Cambridge, and I was the General Manager at Harvard Gardens in Beacon Hill for the last couple of years. I left there in the spring and not long after the opportunity came up to join the Idle Hands family; the decision was a very easy one!


What do you like most about working at Idle Hands (besides the beer)?

It’s been great working with such passionate and dedicated people like Brett (our head brewer) and Chris (el bossman). To see years of hard work paying off right before your eyes, and to be a small part of it, has been very rewarding in such a short time.

But yes, at the end of the day (and during), it’s the beer! I would have done this job for free (don’t tell Chris!)


Favorite Idle Hands beer?

All time, it’s Pandora, the first one I ever had. I’ve been begging to get that one back in rotation since I started. Currently, it’s the Proeme, our dry-hopped farmhouse, which is outstanding. I have a feeling this answer will change every couple of months; Brett keeps throwing great beers my way and he doesn’t seem to miss! I guess my answer to this should probably be “the next one.”


How about your dream 6-pack (with no Idle Hands beers)?

I think I’d need a “one of everything” grouping here: Mystic Saison Renaud, Maine Beer Co. Mean Old Tom, Mayflower Porter, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Vanderghinste Oud Bruin (first Belgian sour I ever had), finish with a Coors Light (don’t judge, me and Lady Coors have been through a lot together and I can never turn my back on an old friend. Besides it’s the world’s most refreshing beer).


Favorite thing about the new Malden location?

So far I’ve been amazed at the camaraderie of the local brewing industry. Everyone has been so positive and helpful and welcoming; it’s great. It seems like every brewery that stops by to wish us good luck leaves behind a gift in the form of beer, which is awesome.

It’s also been really cool to work at the brewery that got me into craft beer in the first place.


Favorite bar that carries Idle Hands on tap?

I’m an alum so I may be a little biased, but I’ve spent plenty of time on the fun side of the bar there too, so it’s got to be Atwood’s Tavern. It’s a great bar with great food and great people and an awesome beer list. What more could you ask for? (you’re welcome Patrick and Nim!)


Tom Brady or David Ortiz?

This question is just wrong. You can’t force me to choose between the 2 greatest Boston athletes of this generation. I could probably write an entire thesis on Brady vs. Ortiz. There’s not enough space here to fully dissect this…That being said, I have to go with Big Papi. I’ve always been more of a baseball guy and he’s provided more amazing memories than anyone in my lifetime. Nothing will ever top that 2004 season for me, so many unbelievable moments. I probably shouldn’t have graduated on time from college because of the guy. I think some of my friends are the reason that UMass Amherst changed all of their procedures for Championship celebrations. Sorry current UMass students; for what it’s worth, we had an awesome time!


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