Friday, February 01, 2008

The Path To Philly Beer Week 2008 - A Profile of Sly Fox Brewing Company

If the size of Victory and Stoudt's seem to steal attention in Philadelphia's brewing scene, they better look out because Sly Fox will be right there with them soon. The past five years or so have been very good for Sly Fox's business model. They've added another location, upped their bottling (canning too) and kegging capacity, and expanded their distribution footprint to new markets.

I've heard certain "XtremeHeads" say that Sly Fox standard beers are not all that interesting. While taste is certainly subjective, what cannot be argued is that the standard lineup of Sly Fox beers are all very well done. But, if that's still not enough for you, then check out the Black Raspberry Reserve, Dunkel Lager, Ichor Quad, Instigator Doppelbock, Odyssey IPA, Renard D'or, or Oatmeal Stout (just to name a few of the "specialties") and then tell me what you think of Sly Fox. Many watering holes around the Delaware Valley, in fact, think so highly of the O'Reilly's Stout that it's not uncommon to hear how Brian's beautiful creation has replaced the mighty Guinness.

Through Brian's reputation and friends in the industry, Sly Fox also has the business of doing specialty bottling for Southampton (NY) and Brewer's Art (MD). The great beer, events, and people of Sly Fox all make for a winning combination that should not be missed when in the Philadelphia area.

As you ready yourself for Philly Beer Week 2008, study up on some background notes on Sly Fox and consider yourself lucky to be part of such a vibrant and rich beer region that PBW 2008 will celebrate.

Name: Sly Fox Brewing Company
Location 1: 519 Kimberton Road, Phoenixville, PA 19460 Phone: 610-935-4540
Location 2: 312 North Lewis Rd, Royersford, PA 19468 Phone: 610-948-8088

John & Pete Giannopoulos; founders & owners
Brian O'Reilly; head brewmaster
Tim Ohst; brewing operations manager

Major Brands
Helles Golden Lager, O'Reilly's Stout, Phoenix Pale Ale, Pikeland Pils, Royal Weisse, Route 113 IPA, Saison Vos

Christmas Ale
Grand Champion, US Beer Tasting Championships Winter 2006
French Creek Helles
Bronze, GABF 2002
Instigator (German-Style Strong Bock)
Bronze, GABF 2007
Pikeland Pils
Gold, GABF 2007
Bronze, GABF 2003


Roughly 4,500 bbls in 2007

History & Tidbits
  • Phoenixville location (10-bbl) opened in December 1995
  • Aunts, Uncles, Brothers, Sisters all involved in the planning, designing, financing, and opening of the business
  • The name gives a nod to the local fox hunting traditions of Chester County, PA
  • Well-travelled brewer Bill Moore passed through the brewhouse
  • O'Reilly, winning awards at New Road Brew House and formerly of John Harvard's in Cleveland and Brewers Bier Haus in New Hampshire, has been at the helm since 2002
  • Royersford location (20-bbl) opened in November 2004
  • Canning line went operational at Royersford location in 2006

  • Major Yearly Events
  • Robbie Burns Birthday Bash (January)
  • Bock Festival & Goat Race (May)
  • IPA Project (December)
  • Golf Tournament for charity

  • Where to Find Sly Fox During Philly Beer Week
  • O'Reilly and William Reed (owner of Standard Tap) kickoff Philly Beer Week by pairing up in the brewhouse for a special PBW brew, available at Standard Tap on 3/7 at the 6pm kickoff
  • Pikeland Pils is one of Joe Sixpack's favorites and will be featured on the 7th at his event
  • Will be pairing their beer with food at The Brewer's Plate at the Independence Visitor's Center on Sunday the 9th
  • Sales Lass, Suzanne Woods, will be co-hosting Beer Trivia at Triumph in Old City on Monday the 10th
  • A keg of Sly Fox (Seamus Red Ale) will pop up during the Brewers Self-Guided Pub Crawl on 3/12 at Devil's Alley
  • The GABF medal winners, Instigator and Pikeland Pils, will be honored/tasted at the White Dog Dinner on 3/13
  • Sly Fox will be included in Lew Bryson's Pilsner Gala on 3/13
  • A Sly Fox cask beauty will show up at the cask event, scheduled to be held at Triumph on 3/16


    Anonymous said...

    I don't know the exact date but the Phoenixville location opened well before 2005.....

    Anonymous said...


    I really like the brewer profiles that you are putting on here. Very informative. Keep it up.

    Bryan Kolesar said...

    Thanks Anon, but what's one century versus another really?! Heheh, thanks for pointing out the typo that both I and my "Sly Fox editor" missed. Been humbled and it has been corrected.

    Bryan Kolesar said...

    Thank you, Greg, for the nice comments!

    Anonymous said...

    No problem Bryan. I have been enjoying sly fox for quite a while now.

    And really enjoy and appreciate all you do on this blog.

    Just came across it about 2 weeks ago and have really enjoyed it.

    Jack Curtin said...

    You say you fixed it, but this still appears in the Sly Fox profile:

    Gold, GABF 1990
    Silver, GABF 1993

    Who should I believe, you or my lyin' eyes?

    Bryan Kolesar said...

    Anytime I have problems, I blame them on the Blogger tool thingy. I find it easier that way. Or maybe I should've gone to Word Press?