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Sly Fox Brewing's participation in the 10-day Philly Beer Week extravaganza which begins on Friday March 7 will be highlighted by the introduction of Standard Ale, a special cask-conditioned new beer created by brewmaster Brian O'Reilly and Standard Tap co-founder William Reed to mark the multi-event celebration, which lists more than 150 different activities as of this writing (that's William working while Brian watches in the photo at left).

Reed was the head brewer at the old Samuel Adams Brew house in downtown Philadelphia in the late '90s and founded Standard Tap with partner Paul Kimport when the pub closed. Standard Tap is considered by many experts to be a driving force in the gastropub movement in this country and was recently listed as #11 on Philadelphia Magazine's list of the city's top 50 restaurants. The partners also created and own Johnny Brenda's, one of the city's hippest neighborhood bars and music venues. Sly Fox beers are always part of the, um, standard rotation at both.

Standard Ale will be on the hand pumps at both the Tap and Brenda's throughout Philly Beer Week. The beer will make its suburban debut at Sly Fox Phoenixville on Friday, March 21, as the featured beer for Third Friday Firkin Fest.
Additional appearances by Sly Fox beers and brewers are listed in the "Coming Up" section a bit farther down the page on the left.

For our calendar listing and contact information, visit the website.


Wardell Massey, a financial planner and self-described "Sourhead from the sparkling town of Spring City and warrior poet," won the right to participate in the First Annual Philly Beer Geek finals by winning a preliminary round at Sly Fox Phoenixville on Monday, March 3.

Massey, who is a Sly Fox regular and the defacto head of the infamous Monday Tasting Group, is also an award-winning homebrewer, taking second place at the 2008 War of the Worts for his Belgian Quad spiced with star anise. He will be pouring his Flemish Red ale at Jose Pistolas on Monday March 10 for the Extreme Beer/Hombrew Philly Beer Week event with Dogfish Head.

Runners-up in the Phoenixville round were Jim Derr and Mike Baldasano.

The 2008 Philly Beer Geek will be selected in a championship round to be held at Johnny Brenda's on Thursday, March 13. The winner, "the individual who exhibits the greatest universal knowledge and passion for Philadelphia Beer," will receive a Grand Prize of more than $1,000 in gift certificates, cash and prizes, and will be chosen by a celebrity panel of judges consisting of Carol Stoudt of Stoudt's Brewing, Tom Dalldorf of Celebrator Beer News, Suzanne Woods of Philly's In Pursuit of Ale Women's Beer Club, Larry Horwitz of Iron Hill Brewery - North Wales, Dave Alexander of the Brickskeller in Washington DC, Tom Kehoe of Yards Brewing and local beer writer Jack Curtin.

Hosts for the event will be Jason Harris of Keystone Homebrew and Carolyn Smagalski, the "Beer Fox" of BellaOnline.


As reported on our website News Page, Sly Fox Brewing Company recorded a 29.3% overall increase in production in 2007 and moved to just shy of $1 million in total beer sales. Total barrelage was 4,643, up from 3,600 in 2006. Specifically, 4,290 barrels of the total were brewed in Royersford, a 32% increase, and 353 barrels were brewed in the Phoenixville brew pub, a slight increase over 2006. In terms of dollars, sales broke down to 52% draught, 22% bottles, 26% cans in the company's second full year of packaging in addition to draught.

"A big key to our performance was the change in wholesalers to Origlio here in the Philadelphia market and Manhattan in the New York City market, two of the largest and best wholesalers in the East," says managing partner John Giannopoulos. "To have that type of higher profile distribution allowed us to penetrate the market a little bit deeper and faster. We're going to concentrate our efforts on growing the existing Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey markets even further in the immediate future. We have no plans to enter any new markets in 2008, except maybe to fill in some areas in Pennsylvania where we're not represented, perhaps make some changes in the western part of the state. We will eventually expand, of course, but we want to do it right and not overreach our capabilities to meet demand. Our long term goal is to be at 10,000 barrels by 2010, which means maintaining about the same rate of growth we had this year..."

Read the complete story here.

Other news stories recently posted on the page include: United States Beer Tasting Championship honors for two Sly Fox beers and Arrival of the First Geemacher kegs in the U.S. (Geemacher is a partnership created by managing partner John Giannopoulos to help smaller craft brewers purchase kegs in a timely and affordable fashion).


It's still not too late to sign up for the annual St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp, held Wednesdays and Thursdays at Sly Fox Phoenixville and Sly Fox Royersford respectively and earn a chance to win a free trip to Ireland in a drawing to be held at both locations on Monday, March 17, St. Patrick's Day.

Participants earn lottery tickets at each session and must be present at one of the pubs when the drawing is held. Tickets are dumped into large bins at the pubs and are drawn alternately until a winner is found. Additional prizes are also drawn for throughout the evening and those who have attended ten or more Boot Camp sessions are given free limited edition Boot Camp t-shirts.

Complete details can be found here.

The events listed below are where you will find Sly Fox Beer and often a Sly Fox representative during Philadelphia's new and massive celebration of local beer culture. Click on the logo to see the complete Beer Week Calendar and choose the date of the event you're interested in for additional details.

Debut of Standard Ale @ Standard Tap, Friday,
March 7

Brewmaster Brian O'Reilly and Standard Tap's William Reed will be serving their celebratory collaborative beer, Standard Ale, on the hand pump.
See main story this issue.

Fourth Annual Brewers Plate @ the Independence Visitor Center, Sunday, March 9
Sly Fox will be one of 21 breweries participating in this great food and beer pairing event. Sly Fox will be paired up with the Abbaye, serving up Belgian Beef Stew and O'Reilly's Stout.

Ultimate Beer Trivia at Triumph Brewpub, Monday, March 10
Sly Fox "Beer Lass" Suzanne Woods will host this fun evening which will include a preliminary round of the Philly Beer Geek competition.

Meet & Greet w/ Brian O'Reilly @ Johnny Brenda's, Tuesday,
March 11

Brewmaster Brian O'Reilly and Johnny Brenda's William Reed will be featuring their collaborative brew, Standard Ale, on the hand pump. Also pouring: Seamus Red Ale, Ichor and Pikeland Pilsner.

Self-Guided Center City Pub Crawl, Wednesday, March 12
The evening starts at Jose Pistolas and will progress to seven more sites as a local sixtel is kicked at each bar, ending up at McGillin's Old Ale House where all the beers will be on tap. Enjoy Seamus Red Ale at Devil's Alley (fifth stop) where the ladies of In Pursuit of Ale will be in attendance.

Pilsner Gala with Lew Bryson @ Triumph Brewpub, Thursday, March 12
Pikeland Pilsner and a limited release Amber Rauchbier available exclusively at our brew pubs will be poured in addition to varying lagers from nine other local breweries.

Sly Fox & Southampton Cask "n" Cans Night @ Good Dog, Friday,March 14
The dynamic brotherly duo, Spencer and Ryan Niebuhr, will be on the scene pushing a firkin of Sullivan's Red Ale, named for the Public house's owner. Sly Fox will join them with a firkin of our own. Other Sly Fox and Southampton beers will also be pouring and Sly Fox cans will be featured at half-price.

Chili Cook-Off @ The Khyber, Saturday,March 15
Sly Fox is one of the sponsors of this chili recipe face-off.

Southampton and Friends night @ Grey Lodge Pub, Saturday, March 15
Beware the Ides of March. Modern Day Bards of Beer from local breweries will include Spencer Niebuhr from Southampton, Suzy Woods from Sly Fox, Chris LaPierre from Iron Hill, Casey Hughes from Flying Fish, Steve "Red Steve" Mashington from Yards, and more.

Real Ale Festival @ Triumph Brewpub, Sunday, March 16
Co-hosted by Yards Brewing , this fest will feature traditional cask-conditioned ales and participation by over 20 local breweries.

TUD (Totally Unnecessary Drink) @ Fergie's Pub, Sunday, March 16
The Last Huzzah of Philly Beer Week kicks off at exactly 7:05pm. $3 imperial pints of Sly Fox & Yards. Guest bartenders. Kareoke.

Our most popular annual beer celebrations features Slacker Bock, Helles Bock, Instigator Doppelbock and two Eisbocks, plus other German-style treats like Royal Weisse, Rauchbier, Pikeland Pils and Helles Golden Lager. The highlights of the day are the goat races to determine which ruminant's name will grace the 2008 Maibock which is tapped at race's end. Mark your calendars!
Here are the details.

Creating Standard Ale

You know, when I think about it, William Reed of Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda's may actually be the person most responsible for the growth of Sly Fox from a small, very popular brewpub to a multi-site packing brewery which has enjoyed great growth and acceptance over the last few years.

I first met William when I came to this area to help create the doomed New Road brewpub. When I thought about trying to sell some of our beer off premises, William and Scoats of the Grey Lodge Pub were the first people I approached (which is why they are both on our "whatever you want, if it's possible, you get" list to this day). I knew that, because Standard Tap served only local draught beers, I had a good shot there and took him some samples. When he called back a few days later to say "Hey, these are good," we were on our way. Because of his entirely local focus, William usually has two or more of our beers on tap and that made it all work. When I was fired at New Road, William showed up the next day and bought all the beer he could from them and was the last guy in town with New Road
on tap.

William was the first person I called when I came to Sly Fox and wanted to sell beers off-premise as well. He made it all work for us by being a regular customer. Otherwise, we might never have tried it and who knows what might have happened. Knowing he was once the brewer at the old Sam Adams Brew house, I've been bugging him to brew a beer with me almost from the start. Philly Beer Week was finally the event that got him to agree.

I want to make it clear that this is William's beer and I just helped him create what he envisioned. He described the beer and told me he wanted this flavor from our ESB, for example, but wanted the alcohol to be a bit different, that sort of thing. He wanted some American hops in the mix. You'll see we're calling it an American ESB in some places, but that's not really what it is, just an easy shorthand.

The beer will come in at about 5.6% abv. The whole batch was created for the hand pump. None of it was filtered, it was fined in the tank and then we racked it and conditioned it. It's pretty much the way we will do our own cask beers when we get that program running, the way it should be done. I really think people are going to like it.

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