So the new Tired Hands production brewery and evocative restaurant is finally open in Ardmore -it’s hands down as good as anticipated.
Opening night – Friday the 24th of April things were buzzing in Jean Broillet’s beautiful new fantastic beer / food experience “the Fermentaria” and just about everyone was smiling – even Jean (well, periodically).
As i walked though the energized opening night crowd I recognized the building’s owner – enjoying his beer and really drinking in what he, Jean and his investors have created in Ardmore. “It’s thrilling” he told me – “to see what’s been created from what it was.”
It was built out in about a year from what was a more or less derelict warehouse a block from Lancaster Avenue in Ardmore – a building that was once a trolley garage and maintenance facility, but was empty for about a decade. Now droves of beer appreciators and curious residents of Ardmore are flocking in to see what Jean has created, and enjoy the food and beer he and his dedicated team is serving.
Jean was thoughtfully walking the production brewery floor – open to patrons to view from their tables – but clearly pleased at what was happening. “I now have a team of 95 employees – up from 38 at the old place” (which is still a very much going concern) – “it’s a lot”. I commented on the plethora of natural light that streams through the huge windows circling the dining area and radiating down from the windows at the top of the building. “Yes, it’s even beautiful on a gray day” Jean said.
And of course the beers are great – like the solid Saison Hands and Hop Hands we are all familiar with, as well as notable additions like “Rutilant” a new IPA. At 5.9% flavored with Nelson Sauvin, Cascade, and Simcoe hops and fermented with Jean’s dry house yeast – it was fresh and delicious as I have come to expect. I also liked the Thesaurus as well – a flavored Saison that is typically adventurous, but still very drinkable – emblematic of what to expect from Tired Hands.
The special TH touches are evident, from the stainless steel hands reaching out over the doorway, the metal Tired-Hand logo tap handles to the “organoleptic” art on the walls. Jean is does not compromise his brand. (Nor should he.)
Looking around I saw families with babies, hipsters with ear spacers, and plain old “dudes” with beer t-shirts and beards – many with their significant others. It’s the kind of atmosphere I think Jean targeted when he decided to create his vision in Ardmore – to be not just a beer place – but an actual part of the local community.
Come on out, you can take the train to Ardmore, and you can bring your kids – but you must bring your beer appreciation, and a little sense of adventure to the Fermentaria (and check out the wall art in the bathrooms!).