You know, I’m not sure why I never made it out to the Sly Fox Brewhouse and Eatery sooner. I mean, its not exactly a hop, skip, and a jump from my stomping grounds, but it’s not all that far either. It certainly isn’t because I don’t like their beers. In fact, whenever I’m in the mood for a really nice lager, Sly Fox Pikeland Pils is one of the first beers to come to mind. It’s a delicious representation of the style. But, somehow… I just never made it out that way.
Then, a unique opportunity presented itself. Kevin (a.k.a Flannelguy), creator and writer for the Beer Snobs website, invited me to his stopping grounds in Phoenixville to check out Sly Fox 113 Day. “Me and my friends are meeting for lunch at Sly Fox. They are offering their 113 IPA for $1.13”, was the message I received from Kevin. An opportunity to make some new beer loving friends, cheap brew, and a special event involving a solid IPA to boot… I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Friday afternoon off. So, I jump in my car, make a beeline down Route 113 from Sellersville to Phoenixville, and I’m pulling up to the bar with Kevin and his buds in 45 minutes.
|Route 113 IPA at Sly Fox Brewhouse|
I arrived just in time. The 113 Day event was about to begin. I was sitting in a brewhouse on Route 113, the date was 1/13, it was almost , and I was about to pay $1.13 for a pint of Route 113 India Pale Ale… which, coincidentally, packs 113 IBU’s. Are you getting the premise of 113 Day here? But wait… that’s not all. If you manage to be at the brewhouse at 5:00 P.M., you can purchase 10 oz. pours of Route 113 IPA… a special casked version… until it kicks… for a mere… yes, you guessed it… $1.13.
I promptly received my Route 113 IPA at . The draught version of this beer poured a nice copper color with a thin off white head that lingered. As the head receded it left a lot of lacing on the glass. I didn’t get much from the nose, but I did detect a bit of floral and citrus hop notes. The beer tasted of fresh bread and caramel up front. Citrus, piney, and then earthy hops asserted themselves in the middle and up through the sticky finish. A nice IPA for sure, but at 7% ABV, I only had one. After all, I did need to make that trek back home.
The next few hours included good conversation amongst the Beer Snobs website crew, a bite to eat, a lot of water, and several smaller samples of a few Sly Fox lager styles. Sly Fox does lagers well, and the Helles Golden Lager is a real standout. It’s like golden sun-kissed malty goodness in a glass. Seriously, get out to Phoenixville and try it.
Then, it was time… it was and the cask version of Route 113 IPA started to flow. As with most cask conditioned ales, the carbonation of this version was much more subdued. The subdued carbonation took the sharp hoppy edge off and allowed the malt character of the beer to come forward. The beer became very smooth with a fuller mouth feel and quite pleasant. It was a nice way to top off the afternoon.
|The Growler Filler|
Other highlights of the afternoon included watching Sly Fox’s automated growler filler at work and hanging out with Brewmaster Brian O’Reilly in the pub. The automated growler filler is definitely a piece of engineering wizardry and it provided regular entertainment throughout the afternoon. Brewmaster Brian O’Reilly could often be found hanging out with patrons in the pub while enjoying a pint. A brief conversation revealed his excitement over the opening of the new brewery in
Pottstown, which will triple production. That’s right… triple!
Sly Fox has come a long way since opening in 1995. Their history has been punctuated by a growing lineup of solid brews, the first craft beer canning line in the Mid-Atlantic region, and now a large expansion that will triple production. I feel fortunate to have them as a part of the local beer scene and wish them continued success.
Oh, by the way, make sure you check out The Sly Fox Bock Fest on
May 5, 2012. The festival features great beer, German inspired food, and goat races… why wouldn’t you go? I will certainly be there.
To learn more about Sly Fox beer and events, please visit their website: http://www.slyfoxbeer.com/