See what all the buzz is about when you check out these new Main Line craft breweries.
Find out which new and innovative brew houses have beer lovers all in a suds— of the craft variety, of course.
In the pantheon of buzz-worthy culinary happenings on the Main Line, little can compete with the boom in craft breweries. Quickly becoming a destination for discerning beer lovers, burgeoning brew houses can be found from Ardmore to Phoenixville, and just about every town in between.
“Philadelphia is a mecca for craft beer, and the Main Line is a strong pillar of the community,” says Chris Young, founder of Bryn Mawr’s new Tin Lizard Brewing Company (1000 W. Lancaster Ave., tinlizardbrewingco.com) and a mainstay in the craft beer scene. Tin Lizard offers up house beers and decidedly upscale but traditional bar food. Try the melodic Fuhr Elise Weissbier (named for one of their bartenders) or Kurant Cider Earth, a crisp blend of fermented apple juice with 100 percent Mosaic hops. Under the tutelage of owner, brewer and James Beard Award-nominee Jean Broillet IV, Ardmore’s
Tired Hands Brewing Company
(tiredhands. com) has become the go-to place for discerning suburban beer lovers. “While we get beer geeks on pilgrimage from around the country and the world, local residents are the lifeblood of Tired Hands,” says Broillet. Split into three locations, the Tired Hands Fermentaria (35 Cricket Terrace) offers a continuously changing beer menu with plates of octopus tacos or lamb gnocchi to boot; at the Brew Cafe (16 Ardmore Ave.), it’s all about beer served alongside traditional Belgian and French fare; and a couple doors down from the cafe is the newly opened General Store that boasts T-shirts and Tired Hands goodies galore (20 Ardmore Ave.). For anyone who originally questioned the seemingly strange combo of craft beer and Latin-inspired pub food, Berwyn’s La Cabra Brewing (642 Lancaster Ave., lacabrabrewing.com) quickly shut the naysayers down. Housed in an old grist mill with 130-year- old stone walls, diners can munch on honey chipotle wings or some luscious starters like the pork belly that’s slow- cooked for 12 hours sous-vide with amber kölsch.
Over in Phoenixville, the new Crowded Castle Brewing
Company (242 Bridge St., crowdedcastle.com) is a study in what happens when 10 friends and family have a collective love of beer, start home-brewing together to much acclaim and then move on to co-found a brewery. With a seven-and-a-half-barrel brew system crafting 12 unique beers, their emphasis is placed on creating a beer for every type of taste. But those are just a handful of the endless craft breweries that dot the suburbs. Other notables include the Conshohocken Brewing Company (739 E. Elm St., conshohockenbrewing.com) situated on the Schuylkill River Trail; Perkasie’s Free Will Brewing
Company (410 E. Walnut St., freewillbrewing.com); and Malvern’s new Locust Lane Craft Brewery (50 Three Tun Road, locustlanecraftbrewery.com), which has local food trucks conveniently parked right outside. As for the perennial question about how the brewers come up with the often outlandish names for their brews, it comes down to inspiration. “The theme I’ve used for naming beers is art,” says Young. “Our pilot batch of beer was called Cloths of Heaven, an Irish red ale that pays homage to a W.B. Yeats poem. Our current American IPA on draft is Resistance is Futile, which is a nod to Star Trek, and our ESB is named The Sacred and Profane, inspired by lyrics from a Dire Straits song.” We’ll toast to that.