Among the myriad craft labels brewing cult IPAs and selling out limited-edition can releases, Tired Hands has a particularly passionate fan base. The Ardmore, Pennsylvania operation was among the top 10 most Googled beers of 2016, despite (or, possibly, because of) a limited distribution network exclusive to Pennsylvania. There is apparently a two-year wait list for new prospective accounts.
Since opening the doors to its first brewery-cafe in 2012, this company has innovated IPA styles, rebuilt local communities, launched mid-Atlantic brewing careers, redefined throwing shade. Here are seven other things you might not know about Tired Hands Brewing Company.
The couple that brews together…
Like Trillium, Tired Hands is helmed by a husband-wife duo. Jean Broillet IV and wife Julie Foster met at a beer festival in Boston; she was a homebrewing college student, he was working for Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, Pennsylvania. They opened Tired Hands’ original brewery-cafe in Ardmore, just outside Philadelphia, in June 2012.
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They are unfazed by their critics
In 2015, BeerAdvocate co-founder Jason Alstrom critiqued Tired Hands’ HopHands pale ale, writing, “Milkshake beers are not a trend or acceptable with traditional or modern styles.” Tired Hands doubled down, launching a series of more than 20 “Milkshake IPAs,” a riff on hazy, tropical IPAs and featuring lactose sugar, oats, and fruits such as blackberries and watermelons. Members of the beer community credit Tired Hands with singlehandedly launching the Milkshake IPA category, though others note that 3 Floyds Brewing Company added lactose sugar to an IPA back in 2008.
Can culture is huge
Like Other Half and other cult brewers, Tired Hands’ special-edition, limited-release cans are a really, really big deal. Cans like PUNGE, an Imperial IPA made with Nelson Sauvin and Motueka hops, are announced via social media one day in advance. What the Philadelphia Inquirer calls “beer flash mobs” descend on Ardmore soon thereafter, and the entire 400-case production sells out in less than two hours.
People who wait outside for Tired Hands beer releases might get cut
A local hairstylist and sushi restaurant tried to drum up business from the 800 or so beer fans queuing outside of Tired Hands for limited-edition IPAs, according to The New York Times. “It’s a phenomenon, and if you want to work with it,” it will work for you, Broillet said.
Ardmore is home to multiple Tired Hands operations
In 2015, Broillet and Foster opened Fermentaria, a brewery and restaurant two blocks from their original brewery-cafe. Located in a former trolley repair shop, Fermentaria seats 180 people in its dining room alone. It more than doubled Tired Hands’ production at the time, complementing the original location’s 1,500 barrels per year with an additional 3,500 barrels.
Tired Hands is an incubator of mid-Atlantic beer talent
Countless brewing careers have been launched from Tired Hands’ Ardmore compound. Alums Jon Defibaugh was hired as brewmaster at Evil Genius Beer Co. in Philadelphia, and Tony Wood became lead brewer at The Public Option in Washington, D.C.
Tired Hands began as a community-building effort
The original brewery-cafe was the city’s first recipient of Ardmore Initiative, a non-profit organization that gives grants to small business owners to generate jobs and economic opportunities in downtown Ardmore.