“People say I got a drinkin’ problem, but I got no problem drinkin’ at all!”
Lately I have been wanting to expand my beer palette, so I decided to check out two local breweries: Tired Hands & Iron Hill.
Tired Hands Brewing Company, The Fermentaria
This microbrewery is located a few blocks away from the main shopping area in Ardmore, Suburban Square. The style of the building initially caught my eye, and I later learned that it was formerly a trolley repair shop converted into a brewery and restaurant – pretty cool. The inside has an industrial style, likely from the stainless steel fermentation barrels that sit just beyond the dining area.
Their food menu features your traditional pub fare (wings, fries, nachos) each with their unique spin, in addition to their well-acclaimed tacos, as well as several other burger and salad options. What I love is that many of their products are sourced locally – like the tortillas they use for their tacos come from Tortilleria San Roman – from South Philly’s Italian Market!
They have about 12 beers on tap – a few IPAs, saisons, german pilsners, and american pale ales. I tried the HopHands, an American Pale Ale, which has fruity notes of kiwi, honeysuckle and grapefruit. I must say, I love anything with a hint of grapefruit! The atmosphere was very inviting and knowing that the beer was made on site made the beers even more enjoyable. They’re brewed in small batches and they only distribute to PA, NY and DC, so if you’re in the area, be sure to check them out.
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
This brewpub has several locations on the East Coast, each location having about 10-12 different beers on tap at a given time. The first location opened about 10 years ago in Newark, DE, which is where their name, “Iron Hill,” comes from. Apparently it’s a famous Revolutionary War landmark known to be the highest hill in Delaware from its abundance of iron deposits. Who doesn’t like a little history tied to their beer?
I didn’t get a chance to visit their Newark location, but I went to the one on Germantown Avenue in Chesntut Hill. Our server was super friendly and let us sample several different kinds before we ordered. One of them was the Bedotter, which I will say I don’t think I would have tried without his recommendation. It was a belgian-style ale with hints of banana… and 9.5% alcohol. Definitely not a beer I would usually go for, but I ended up liking it… see what happens when you try new things!
The atmosphere was family-friendly, and good for both small and large groups. I didn’t venture into their food menu this time, but I did notice they have an extensive food list, which goes to show they have something for everyone – ranging from crab cake and steak entrees to pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and more.
I think it’s safe to say that my first two tries at local brewpubs were a success.
Next I’ll be heading to Flying Fish Crafthouse and Yards Brewing Co.