In a few short years, Jean Broillet IV has played all the right moves so that, when neared toward age 28, he would be prepared to premiere his own brewery crafted from his presumably tired hands.
The stepping stones leading up to this point may have been less than glamorous. But with the career path of a brewer fermenting inside of him, Broillet hulled his way from scrubbing bottles in the cellar at Weyerbacher Brewing Company, to being a bar back at Victory Brewing Company’s brewpub, to most recently, acting as assistant brewer at Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant of West Chester. And, you can’t forget he brewed up a storm for years in his parents’ Phoenixville garage.
Following suit, on July 1, Broillet announced the Ardmore location for his “brew cafe”—which that is anticipated to open by January 2012. But with his well-crafted beers (known under the moniker “Tired Hands Brewing Company”) attracting a cult following, he’s already known as a brewer beyond his years, before even opening the door.
“I was exceedingly eager to get in the brewing industry,” he remembers. “I wanted to have a place where I could put my beers on tap and instantly ask someone what they think about them. The brewpub model appeals to me.”
Taking inspiration from spots like Earth Bread + Beer, Broillet and his wife, Julie Foster, aim to soon introduce a locally-focused microbrewery that also offers simple, satisfying food that is sourced from the nearby communities’ farmers and producers.
Already vocal in his pleas to form partnerships with such like-minded individuals, Broillet has recently participated in several collaborations that have celebrated sustainable agriculture. On May 12, he joined Sue Miller, cheesemaker of Birchrun Hills Farm, for a Philly homegrown-inspired, multi-course tasting at Di Bruno Bros. On June 17, he joined members of Fair Food Farmstand on the Birchrun Hills Farm to raise proceeds for Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), with the “Local Beer Meets Local Cheese” fundraiser.
“After years of brewing beer and working every rung of the industry’s latter, I want to give back to the community that made me,” Broillet said, a resident of Overbrook.
Progressive-thinking and locally focused, Tired Hands Brewing Company specializes in remarkable saisons and hop-forward beers. During Philly Beer Week, Broillet participated in the Biere de Garde Seminar at Farmer’s Cabinet with fellow saison heavy-hitters, eloquently discussing his “mad scientist” techniques aside Ryan Michaels of McKenzie’s Brew House and the always-entertaining beer importer Dan Shelton.
Jean additionally took part in a three-way collaboration, Saison des Trois Enfants, between Tom Baker and John Defibaugh of Earth Bread + Beer, and Ryan Michaels. The truly unique beer, brewed with woody and resinous American hops and fermented with McKenzie’s house saison yeast, offered up a sneak peek to the anticipated top-quality that Tired Hands’ brewer has so far put forth.
“It is thrilling when a beer comes out as intended,” he revealed. “That’s the heart and soul of craft brewing.”
While the official unveiling of the 16 Ardmore Avenue brew cafe is months away, be on the lookout for Tired Hands Brewing Co. tastings near you! But, until then, we will conclude by noting our preferred beers of Broillet’s packed lineup—some of which we believe are “pure bliss.”
Guillemot, a dense Baltic Saison named after the bird whose migration takes route from the Baltic to Belgium, unfolds with big, bright flavors, caramel, tart cherries and even, dark chocolate. BloodRoot is a showstopper for any Cascade hops lover, complex with components of grassiness, black pepper and tangerine. And, Silence is Golden, for which I have an intense passion, is an intricate example of a Belgian-styled pale ale that swims in tropical fruit flavors with a slightly spicy finish.