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When eager beer lovers, many of them garbed in kilts, crowd into Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville on Friday, January 23, for the annual Robbie Burns Birthday Bash, they will be partying as part of a tradition that stretches back well over 200 years.

Sly Fox's seventh annual celebration of the birthday of Scotland's greatest poet, Robert Burns, has its roots in the Burns Suppers which are held in his native country around the same time. These began in the late 18th century to mark the anniversary of his death but were eventually changed to January 25, the date of his birth. The Sly Fox party is held each January on the Friday nearest that date.

The Burns Birthday Bash attracts many fans of Burns' poetry and Americans of Scottish descent from all around the region as well as beer fans who've waited anxiously for the release of our Gang Aft Agley Scotch Ale on that night. This year, everybody in attendance will also enjoy another special treat: both Gang Aft Agley and Burns Scottish Ale will be pouring on the Phoenixville handpumps as well as the draft lines.

In addition--and this one is clearly for the beer geeks--a keg of 2007 Gang Aft Agley will also be on draft.

The Robbie Burns Birthday Bash features bagpipers, Haggis and the reading of selections from Burns' poetry by attendees brave enough--or lubricated enough--to take center stage. This is a great winter party. You'll find more details on the Sly Fox calendar.


It's likely that almost everybody reading this is familiar with Sly Fox's Annual St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp. After all, this is the seventh straight year for the ten-week event and, well, folks tend to pay attention when they find out they have a chance to win a free trip to Ireland.

Especially if they can do so merely by drinking beer... and great beer at that, our increasingly popular O'Reilly's Stout, the beer that is driving Guinness off taps all across the Delaware Valley.

Boot Camp, which began on January 7, is held at both Sly Fox locations, Phoenixville on Wednesdays and Royersford on Thursdays, for the ten weeks preceding March 17. O'Reilly's Stout is the Official Beer of Boot Camp and there are bands playing Irish music each night. Attendees earn raffle tickets for attending and a drawing is held on St. Patrick's Day (at both locations, alternating back and forth until the winner, who must be present at one of the pubs, claims his prize).

The event may be already under way, but you still have ample opportunity to attend several sessions (heck, nobody says you can't go to both pubs every week) and have your chance at garnering the big prize.

You can get all the details about Boot Camp from the bartenders in both Phoenixville and Royersford.


Phoenixville, January 23
The Seventh Annual Robbie Burns Birthday Bash will, as always, feature bagpipers and kilts, customers reciting the great Scottish poet's verses, and the traditional piping in of the Haggis, as well as the release of Sly Fox Gang Aft Agley Scotch Ale 2009. Both Gang Aft Agley and Burns Scottish Ale, well-crafted interpretations of Scotland's two signature beer styles, will be on draft. The Burns birthday celebration has become one of the most anticipated annual Sly Fox events and one many Delaware Valley residents of Scottish descent flock to each gathering to celebrate their ancestries. The fun starts at 6pm. Mark your calendars now!

Check our Monthly Calendar for full details and more events...

Every Sly Fox Beer aficionado is familiar with these monthly events...

On the First Friday of every month, Incubus Tripel goes on tap at Noon, only in Phoenixville.

On the Second Friday of the month, a new Varietal Pale Ale is released at both the Phoenixville and Royersford pubs. In Phoenixville, the beer is released as a cask ale on one of the handpumps, then on draft; Royersford is on draft from the start. Begins at Noon both locations.

On the Third Friday of the month, a firkin of cask ale goes onto one of the hand pumps in Phoenixville at Noon. These beers pour until they're gone and that's it until the next time.

Check our Monthly Calendar for full details and more events...


Corey Reid has been behind the bar at Sly Fox Phoenixville since 1997, progressing from bartender to bar manager to asst. general manager. After a couple of years as a self-confessed "beach bum" following his graduation from Boyertown high school, he worked up the nerve to ask for the job. "I was a customer here from day one," he says, "but I'd never bartended in my life. I had a couple of barleywines first and I think they were impressed that I could still talk clearly."

As of this week, Reid will move up to take on the job of Beer Ambassador for the Sly Fox brand, with responsibility for upstate New York and, eventually, those portions of Pennsylvania outside the five-county Philadelphia market which, along with the state of New Jersey, are the bailiwick of Beer Lass Suzanne Woods.

"It's a sales job, but a little more than that," Reid says. "I get to be the face of Sly Fox. To be honest, this is what I've been shooting for since the day I got here, to grow into the business. Back when Bill Moore was the brewer, for example, I would come in on my days off and work with him because I knew his great reputation in the industry."

"New York has become a big market for us," brewmaster Brian O'Reilly explained. "We need to have a presence ther
e on a regular basis and Corey has the knowledge and the personality to fill that slot perfectly. He'll be on the road a couple of days every week and help me with accounts in the city whenever necessary."

Reid will still do bartending shifts at Phoenixville on Monday, Tuesday and Friday nights when he can. "I love it behind the bar," he says. "That's where I learned all the things that got me where I am."

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