Jean Broillet IV
Co-owner, Tired Hands Brewing Company
Jean Broillet really liked the idea of opening a brewpub in Ardmore—so much so that he renovated a space himself, after getting a general contractor’s license from Lower Merion Township. “I wanted our identity to be apparent, down to the last detail,” he says.
Using his own money and funds from 14 investors, Broillet spent 11 months working on his Ardmore Avenue location. The basement brewery was outfitted for a relatively meager $40,000. He bought used equipment, storing it in a barn owned by his wife’s parents.
Tired Hands Brewing Company debuted in June of 2012. “I slept under my desk on the second floor for the first month,” Broillet recalls. “I love brewing intensely, so I could wake up, create beer in the morning, and run the restaurant, then repeat that psychotic cycle the next day.”
Tired Hands was an instant success. Beers sold out, and reservations were booked weeks in advance. On St. Patty’s Day 2014, Broillet signed the lease for a nearby Ardmore space that was another diamond in the rough. The 85-year-old former trolley shop on Cricket Terrace would take 13 months to renovate.
Opened last year, Fermentaria is almost 10 times the size of Tired Hands, and its brewery has new equipment. Where Tired Hands maxes out at 600 bottles, Fermentaria can do 7,000—and Broillet is even installing a canning line. A third facility is coming, but it won’t be open to the public.
“What I really need,” says Broillet, “is a Batcave.”