“Ever been to Tired Hands Brewing Company in Ardmore, PA?” It’s a question I often ask folks when they need help choosing what breweries to visit when coming to Southern Pennsylvania to explore good craft beer. Even though Tired Hands is a well known brewery amongst us local beer enthusiasts, it’s relatively unheard of outside the area.
This well kept secret is home to unique, well-crafted beer made in small batches. “Unique” doesn’t really cut it when describing how special this brew is. I like how the brewery describes its beer as “Strange and Beautiful.” That pretty much nails it. I’m a huge fan of their farmhouse ales and hop masterpieces.
Note that the beer list changes constantly. Here is what was on tap when I visited back in November 2014.
Established in 2011, Tired Hands Brewing Co. has been focused on quality, not quantity and has racked up a stack of awards to prove it. Jean Broillet IV (owner & master brewer) brewed at Weyerbacher and Iron Hill before opening his own brewpub. It’s no wonder that beer geeks alike say the brewery’s product is just as good as Hill Farmstead and other big names in the beer biz.
TIP: You can only have Tired Hands’ brand growlers filled to take home your favorites. Do not try to use other breweries’ growlers. I repeat: DO NOT DO IT! You will only be upset and pouty when you go home with no beer. Luckily for me, I have a network of beer buddies who have Tired Hands growlers that I borrow frequently when visiting the brewery.
Although their brewing system is small (cranking out 1,000 barrels a year. 12 barrels at a time.), the exquisite beverages that come out of it are huge in flavor. As demand continues to grow, the brewery has already poised itself to meet the insatiable thirst of its followers. Coming this Spring 2015, Tired Hands’ second location, not far from the current space, is projected to produce 10,000 barrels per year. Nice!
Here’s a peek into “where the magic happens.”
Yes. The beer is superb, but Tired Hands is also known for tasty, well-crafted food made with local ingredients that are in season. A big favorite is the Bologna and Cheese Panini. I love that the ingredients for this sandwich all come from the Central Pennsylvania area. If you’ve never tried Lebanon-style bologna, you HAVE to get this sandwich while visiting.
But you really can’t go wrong with anything you order from the ever-changing menu. Everything is flavorful and fresh, fresh, fresh!
TIP: Come early to eat. To keep the ingredients fresh, everything is ordered in small quantities. And, this place gets packed on the weekends or when there are bottle release sales. Expect popular menu items to run out as the day progresses.
Warm. Cozy. Inviting. The exposed brick of this 1925 two-story building is raw and gorgeous. I’m a fan of historic architecture with all its character and charm. So, this place makes me feel at home. The dimly lit spaces add to the cozy vibe. Lots of chalk art and eccentric drawings fill the walls.
TIP: If there’s room, sit at the bar on the first floor. It comes alive with food preparation, bartending and good conversation. Fresh veggies being chopped. Bread slicing. Paninis sizzling. Drafts being poured in an almost never-ending fashion. You can even see into the brewing room while sitting here. It makes you feel one with the place – involved and part of the brewpub itself.
Original Location: 16 Ardmore Avenue, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Second Location: (coming spring 2015) 35 Cricket Terrace, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
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