Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Philly Beer Week Day 6: Tired Hands

After our busy fifth day of beer week, Jo and I were originally going to take Wednesday off. Well, mostly off as I was still going to get one drink, but then the Friday before, it was announced that the Tired Hands cafe was finally opening! Immediately I said so much for our day off, time to go to Ardmore!

When I arrived the first floor bar was about three quarters full but still plenty of room for me. I took a seat and ordered my first beer, EWBANH (apparently Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt), their India Black Coffee Saison.

Nice nose with a light coffee aroma. Sharply spicy at first with some coffee bitterness but after drinking a bit all of that calmed down and blended together real well. I honestly wasn't sure about it at first. It's one of those beers that surprises you but then it all comes together. This one was also different since you never come across a coffee saison so the initial flavors are quite surprising and take a little getting used to.

Jo arrived shortly after me and ordered a Farm Hands. She quite liked this one with its citrusy nose and lightly tart breadiness. Lucky for us this is one of the two permanent beers so she'll always be able to fall back on it.

The actual cafe was incredibly nice. The downstairs has a long bar and a couple tables by the front of the restaurant with a decent bit of standing room for people to stop in and have a single beer. Here's one of the bartenders pouring a beer with their small kitchen area in the background.
When you head upstairs, there's another slightly smaller bar and some more tables. This is where most people would go if you're looking for a more normal dining experience, I'd say, though the bar looked quite comfortable.
I really liked the look of floor in the upstairs too. Very nice looking wood and well put together. After that I ordered my next beer, Foliage, their double IPA.
In the background you can also see their bread oven. They make 20 or 30 loaves a day though that may change as it gets busier. Foliage had a super bright grapefruit nose. Very inviting. It had some light bitterness followed by some pineapple and citrus ending with a relatively dry finish. Pretty balanced without being too sweet, exactly what I want in a double IPA. Jean, one of the owners, said this was actually their biggest seller at the moment. The next batch I think he was planning on making with lemon peel or something. Going to be interesting to see the variations on this one.

At this point, we decided to order some food. The thing with food at Tired Hands is that it is pretty minimal. You have cheese and bread, meat and bread, a couple paninis, and then some smaller side dishes. The meat and cheese are both high-quality, locally sourced stuff and the side dishes are things like pickles, pickled beets, and these carrots that my wife loved. So awesome stuff, but good for snacking awesome stuff. The two paninis we ordered were delicious but not super filling. It's a great place to hang out and get some light food but you aren't going to get a full meal here in my opinion. If they end up opening during lunch, this type of food would fit perfectly.

My last beer of the visit was named Thesaurus, a calico saison.
This picture also gives you a look at their great paninis. This one was bologna and cheese but so much more than the name describes. The beer was probably my favorite of the night actually. Spicy and slightly roast nose. Started sweet with a hint of caramel and then some mild citrus hoppiness appeared. As I drank more and got used to the slight bitterness, the caramel sweetness took over. While the citrus finish never completely goes away, this was probably the sweetest of the three I tried.

One of the things I liked quite a bit about the place was the pour sizes. Rather than go into a long winded description, here's their sign describing it.
If you click on the picture, it should be big enough to actually read. All three sizes were relatively well priced as well which was also nice.

Well, this place certainly came a long way from the last time Jo and I visited. Heck, there weren't even stairs then! The food, though not substantial, is still at least really tasty and fresh and I can't say enough about the beer. I'm quite happy they finally opened and hope they continue to pour beer for a long time coming. I'm definitely going to try to make it back every couple weeks if not slightly more often but we'll see. Everyone should go visit!

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