Tucked into a small row of shops right off the main drag in Ardmore, PA (a suburb on the Main Line, just a few miles outside Philadelphia), is a little gem of a bar: Tired Hands Brewing Company. Though the location is somewhat more unassuming than on a busy corner downtown, the long, cozy bar usually plays host to a diverse collection of craft beer lovers, and the hip staff can wax just as eloquently about the offerings on tap as the servers in any Philly gastropub. Quirky art hangs on the exposed brick walls, and second bar and dining room upstairs is a breezier alternative to the narrow first floor.
The beer is the real star here. Brewed in small batches on site, all the Tired Hands beers draw inspiration from the farmhouse ales which are so prominent in France and Belgium, as well as the bold American craft beer tradition. After being trained at nearby Weyerbacher Brewing Company and Iron Hill Brewing Company, head brewer and owner Jean Broillet and his team consistently turn out some of the best beers in the city. As they don't yet have distribution, the brew cafe is the only place to experience the variety of beers that are as whimsical as their names. Just a few examples from the ever-stellar line up are Happy Hands (an heirloom tomato Berliner Weisse, conditioned on 120 pounds of local tomatoes from Happy Cat Farm), The Rest of Your Life (a classical modern saison with notes of flowers and black pepper), and We Are All Infinite Energy Vibrating at the Same Frequency (a wheat IPA made with Centennial and Simcoe hops). The beers come in different sized pours - as little as 4 ounces, if you want to taste the whole lot of 'em - and 32 ounce growlers can be taken to go.
Tired Hands also has great bar snacks, perfect for a happy hour nosh or light dinner. A rotation of local artisan cheeses, charcuterie, homemade pickles, flavor-packed grilled panini, salads and veggie side dishes all weigh in under ten bucks, and most snacks come with a few fat slices of the perfect house-made bread. Special snacks-of-the-day, like candied bacon, deep fried cheese curds, and sriracha scented deviled eggs are also not to be missed.
Although it's a few minute's drive outside the city limits, a trip to Tired Hands is worth your time and gas money! Call up a few friends and make a mini road trip out of it - a few sips into a beautifully balanced saison or IPA and you'll be glad you made the effort.