Posts Tagged ‘tired hands’

I am seriously going to start copying and pasting my intro for each entry going forward because it is the same thing, with the exception of the location. I should take that back because it seems like the locations are going to be the same for the time being too…now comes the challenge of finding new breweries/beers to drink.

This installment of the Wandering Idiot lead me to Maryland, Delaware and Eastern Pennsylvania for another beer soaked adventure starting with a nice 620am flight to Baltimore MD. After a long day of work where it seemed like I was spinning my wheels, I was hoping that I would have made it through Philadelphia before the traffic picked up but that was not the case. Instead of trying to force my way through the city, I decided to just hang back for a while, grab some dinner and a couple of beers at Stewarts Brewing Company.

Stewarts Brewing Company is located in Bear DE, not to far from the Maryland border and the University of Delaware.  Unfortunately I could not find much history about the place other than that they have been open for almost 15 years now and have won plenty of medals at the World Beer Cup and GABF, including their most recent Gold Medal in 2013 for their Belgian tripel Stumbling Monk.


Exterior of Stewarts Brewing Company

Stewarts Brewing company from the interior looks like a family dinner place where the daily special is meatloaf and your waitress is named Flo.  Other than the back corner room with the brewing equipment, the rest of the place just was boring and unimpressive.  Unfortunately, the beer quality was a direct resemblance of the interior…boring and unimpressive.  I would end up coming back here later in the week, drinking different selections and feeling even less impressed the second time around.

While I was there for the first time, I was sort of hungry and settle on some chicken wings and a salad.  I have to be honest that I have only had a bad salad once, to the point where I had to send it back…this time was borderline becoming my second time.  Although my food sucked, I did enjoy my final beer of the night but consumed these beers while there…


Exterior of Allentown Brew Works

After leaving Stewarts and making the 2 hour drive up to my hotel, I decided to make a quick stop at Allentown Brew Works (home to Fegleys Brew Works).  Fegleys Brew Works was created in 1998 and home to their main brewing equipment and bottling line.  Along with many of their flagship bottled beers, they also offer in house seasonals and one offs.  The exterior as you can see looks to have been revamped at some point to open up the place to lots of natural light.  The interior is great half of the buildings West wall covered in brewing tanks and a long bar that can seat about 25-30 patrons.  In addition to tables covering most of the place, there is a second level for additional dining.  As per my typical agenda, I try to avoid the flagship beers and go for the in-house or seasonal beers but ended up drinking a decent flagship beer…on top of several in house beers too.


After another 12 hours plus day of work (as it seems to be going lately), I decided that I wanted to get out early for dinner so that I could crash earlier than normal (normal being midnight).  Thankfully, Bethlehem Brew Works was only minutes away from the hotel in downtown Bethlehem.   Bethlehem Brew Works is the newer of the two ‘brew works’ operated by Fegleys.  Bethlehem Brew Works was opened several years later and houses in-house beer production only.  One of the nice things about both locations is that they brew their own in-house and seasonal beers.  Unfortunately, I was not impressed by any of the beers that I had at the Bethlehem location, compared to those had at the Allentown Location.


Bethlehem Brew Works is a decent sized building with their brewing equipment up by the front windows and between the two levels of the facility.  It featured a long beer that could hold 20-25 patrons with tables running down the other side of the building, on top of a secondary level that is wide open with more tables.  For a Tuesday night, the place was jam packed with people at 630pm…and the menu was very impressive.  I purchased a buffalo meat burger which was cooked perfectly, topped with sautéed onions and mushrooms and a spicy mayo.  Its too bad that the beers that I drank that night didn’t match the quality of the food…

After leaving Bethlehem Brew Works, I had to crack open a bomber that I purchased the previous night at Allentown Brew Works to ‘earn’ my Untappd Hotel Hopper badge…


After another long 12+ hour day of work, I found myself just on the outskirts of Philadelphia with some work in the immediate area for the following day.  Since I was in the area, I had to get down to a new place that is supposed to be killing it with their beers…Forest & Main Brewing Company.


Exterior of Forest & Main Brewing

Forest & Main Brewing Company is located in the small town of Ambler PA, roughly 15 miles Northwest of Philadelphia.  They have been open for roughly two years now with the notion of being ‘that small town brewpub’ and they have maintained it well.  As you can see by the photo above, Forest & Main is situated in a small ranch style house, located in a town with a history well over 200 years old.  The interior of the house is extremely old school with old plank style floor that is so old, you can literally see through the slats into the cellar area.  The bar area is a small 8×12 room in the front of the house with a small 5 stool bar against the back wall with a small bartenders cove in what was probably a former closet.  For dinner I decided on another buffalo burger (love that lean meat…) with home made potato chips which were actually very tasty.  Here is what I had for dessert…

Since I was only ten minutes away from Tired Hands Brewing Company, I decided to give it another try.  My first experience there was less than impressive as far as the beer quality was.  I am sure that their bottle offerings are outstanding but the beers that I have had from them are nothing better than average as a whole.  So here is what I had this time…

Revisiting Hop Hands was a pleasant touch this time along with my pickle plate accompanied with a nice stick of cave aged blue cheese and thinly sliced proschuitto.



On Wednesday, I had a really weird day which started out with having a Semi Tractor Trailer blowing his engine right in front of me on I-76, thus blowing out a huge cloud of white smoke and covering my rental car in engine oil.  The smoke from the blow out was so bad that when I was finally able to pass the truck, I had to roll down the window of the car because the smoke was very toxic and causing me to violently cough…had to get some ‘fresh’ Philly air in the car before I got really sick.  Work sucked as it typically does when I am on the road but was able to finish up at a decent time, which allowed me to grab an early dinner at Iron Hill Brewery in Wilmington DE.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant is a regional chain of brewpubs that is based in the PA/DE/NJ with nine locations in the tri-state area.  My sister used to live in Wilmington about a decade ago and Iron Hill was a typical stop for me…again, if I had only started reviewing beers back then instead of waiting until 2011.  Ugh.  Anyways, I remember their beers being average but the place having really good food…and it didn’t disappoint this time either, at least food wise.  I had a really solid Chicken Fajita chopped salad that was huge and tasty, properly seasoned and with solid portions of toppings and chicken.  Unfortunately, the beer quality did not match the food quality this time…

After a disappointing beer selection at Iron Hill, I had to eject early because I was meeting up with a former co-worker for a couple of beers…unfortunately, she wanted to go to Stewarts because she is a mug club member there.  Thankfully for me, they still had their 2011 Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine on tap which was actually pretty solid…but then I saw a new beer on tap that always gets my attention…it is just too bad that it didn’t even come close to what I was hoping it would be.


Good Ol’ Friday…it is very unusual that I ever work on a Friday, it is not because I am lazy but more of the fact that I usually don’t have any work leftover from the week but this week I was slammed.  After another long 10 hour day of work, I had three hours to kill before my flight back to Buffalo, so I made another stop at Frisco Tap & Brewhouse.  This was my second trip to this place and loved it the first time, so I was more than happy to make a stop here on my way to the airport.

When I arrived at Frisco Tap & Brewhouse, it was roughly around 530pm and there was not a parking spot to be had.  Thankfully, this must have been a (good) problem that they run into and started offering Valet Parking free of charge.  Yes, a brewpub that offers Valet Parking…very posh. The place was jam packed with about 90% of the tables filled but thankfully, I was able to get the last open spot at the bar. For dinner, I ordered a solid Buffalo Meat burger topped with a local sliced pickle and a chipotle mayo.  Solid as hell food along with some interesting beers.

I will probably make a stop to Frisco Tap every time I have to fly out of Baltimore airport because of its great tap selection and close proximity to the airport.  I really got to say that I was severely disappointed in the barrel aged Monks Revenge.  This was one of the first beers that I ever had from Terrapin and still like it to this day but the  Cabernet barrel really cut out of the original flavor and actually made the beer taste like a tequila barrel aged beer….I like tequila and tequila barrel beers but this one was no where even close to the quality of the original base beer.




So my wife decided that we would take a nice family trip down to Sesame Place this summer with my mother and mother in law.  From Buffalo NY to Sesame Place, it is about a six hour drive if you go straight through but when you have a three year old and two old people with you, it takes much much much longer.  My daughter had vomited four times in the first three hours from either car sickness or motion sickness but got it together when we stopped for lunch in Binghamton.  We made the rest of the trip without further incident, checked into our hotel then hit Sesame Place for a couple of hours.  The next morning, went back to Sesame Place for another 8 hours when we decided to call it quits.  After dinner, my mom said that she was wiped out and just wanted to stay in and offered to watch my daughter….30 minutes later, I found myself just off the Villanova campus and in front of Tired Hands Brewing.

Tired Hands Brewing

The exterior of the building has the old ‘small town’ brick facet about it with a small front porch and big picture window. The interior is much the same with a tight thin interior, brick walls on both sides, a long wooden bar with about 12-15 spots, about a half dozen dozen tables against the far wall.  They had a very tight brewing operation in the back of the building that was cordoned off by a glass wall.  The wife was pretty tired when we arrived but allowed me to stay for an hour before she was tapped out for the night.  While there, I got to sample some of their beers…

  • … (Ellipsis) ~ Dubbel ~ 7.6% ABV … a Brett dubble that ha d a nice red wine barrel taste to it…loved this beer.
  • Phantom With Three Different Colored Eyes ~ American Double / Imperial IPA ~ 8.0% ABV … A very citrusy, rind heavy, piney IPA…it was good.
  • Mr. Alien ~ Berliner Weissbier ~ 4.0% ABV … Brewed with wheat.  Hopped lightly with Simcoe.  This beer was very boring, had a mild yeast and mild lemon taste but very plain and flat.
  • Pleasant ~ American Black Ale ~ 5.8% ABV …  Brewed with rye and oats.  Well hopped exclusively with Simcoe.  Personally, I liked it a lot, very hop forward with rye in the back end
  • Penelope ~ American IPA ~ 6.4% ABV … Brewed with wheat.  Well hopped with Simcoe and Centennial.  A very nice citrusy, juicy, grainy IPA.

Overall, I really liked the brewery, had a nice vibe to it, the beers were decent and the service was great.  Even took home some roadies..


Every year for the Memorial Day weekend, my best friend and his family come into town to visit family and hang out with us.  For the past several years, I have attempted to put together a tasting with my local Buffalo BAs, so that we can showcase some of our great beers that we typically open for each.  Last Year’s Memorial Day Weekend tasting went very well and I wanted to make sure that we did this one even better than the previous year.  Some of the great beers that I was able to share with everyone was my Tired Hands haul from my Fantasy Hockey BIF , a growler of Bruery Berazzled sent from my buddy Matt in California and of course, my bottles of Bruery Batch 1 Levuds.  Well, the guys in the tasting group really wanted to put the screws to me and compiled a vertical of Deschutes Abyss (minus the infected bottle from 2009) along with some other great selections

I had informed the group that this tasting was kicking of at 3pm sharp…and after doing hours of yard work, I was ready to go about 10 minutes before hand.  In attendance for the tasting other than myself, my wife, my best friend T were my Beer Advocate brethren Chopko, Tom, Aaron, Brandon, Pete, Tim, and Joe.  Even though I told guys not to bring beer because we had plenty to go around, it still turned out to be an epic bottle share (and no one listened because they all showed up with extra bottles)(..but didnt go home with any).  Here were the offerings that didn’t survive the tasting…

As you can see from the line up that we went through that night, it was a marathon, not a race… 29 beers (10 from growlers), 1 mead, 18 coiled sausages and 3 hamburgers consumed.  Another great tasting…

So earlier this year, I joined a Fantasy Hockey Beer It Forward on    With most fantasy leagues, it is usually a head to head league but we had 11 participants in this league so that was not going to work.   Instead we decided to go with a Rotisserie league, which consists of many categories where everyone stacks up their stats against everyone, then is assigned points for where they place in each of those categories.  In this particular instance, we had 14 categories split between offense (Goals, Assists, Points, Power Play Points, Shots, Hits, Penalty Minutes, Plus/Minus) and goaltending (Wins, Goals Against, Goals Against Average, Saves, Save Percentage, Shutouts).   The point values went from 11 to 1, depending on where your stats compared to everyone else, you were assigned a value for your place for each category, most points at the end of the season Wins.

Now the boxes that you offered were voted upon by the entire league and ranked best to worst…the best box was given the first pick in the draft, the worst box was given the last pick in the draft.  Of course, everyone else offered a bunch of barrel aged beers while I offered a bunch of sours.   The must have full of a barrel aged stout chasing queers because I ended up smack dab in the middle of the pecking order.  Well, my draft was decent and I was happy with my draft after it was concluded.

The prize payouts for the league was that the overall winner got to pick the First, Second, Third, Seventh and Eighth pick of the boxes.  The person that ended up in second place got the Fourth and Fifth picks of boxes and Third Place got the Sixth pick of the boxes.  Those that finished in the top three did not have to offer up their boxes.

Thankfully I started off very hot and was the league leader right from the start…along with some necessary roster moves and some risks, I was able to maintain the league lead for a vast majority of the season.  But in typical fashion, it came down to the very last game of the season…even though I was winning most of the season, it still came down to the very last minute of the very last game.  Ottawa scored an empty net goal versus Boston, giving another guy an added assist, thus tying me for the top spot overall.  Instead of winning five boxes, I got to split the first and second place prizes totaling seven boxes with another person.

Since the league ended up in a tie, myself and BA OddNotion (Jesse) decided that we would settle it with a flip of the coin…which in typical ME fashion, I lost.   I ended up with 3.5 boxes of goodness coming to me anyhow.

Here was my haul from the league…

From BA Retail1Lo…


1 Liter Growlers from Tired Hands Brewing

Tired Hands Brewing is a newer brewery located outside of the Philadelphia area and opened for just short of one year now.  The rumor floating around is that they have been killing it with their beers, so I definitely look forward to cracking these bad boys open this weekend at my tasting.

From BA Crawbee87…


From BA VonZipper…


From BA Shrek806…


Overall, not a bad haul for three and half months of crazy scoreboard watching.