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... a goat which, on one special day, becomes one special goat, a spry and competitive ruminant whose name will be writ forever in Sly Fox annals.

The awesome moment usually occurs somewhere around 2:45 on the first Sunday afternoon in May before hundreds of exhorting spectators.

An animal which had heretofore spent its days in pleasant obscurity emerges from the pack and into the searing light of fame.

This day, this moment, all the acclaim of the cheering throng, belongs to the victor.

The beer is for the rest of us.

Our annual Bock Festival & Goat Race will be held in Phoenixville on Sunday, May 3, rain or shine, at Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery in Pikeland Village Square, just as it has been since 2002 (two were held previously at a since closed brewpub, making this the 10th in the series). The gates open at 11am and the races begin at 2pm.

The day-long event draws fans from states as far away as North Carolina (over 2,000 attendees last year) to enjoy German food and music and what may be the most extensive lineup of bock beers poured at any brewpub in the nation on a single day: Slacker Bock, Helles Bock, Instigator Doppelbock, two Eisbocks (Slacker and Instigator this year) and, of course, Maibock.

Maibock is what the race is all about. The winning goat will be honored by having the 2009 Maibock named after it, the goat owner gets a $75 gift card good at both Sly Fox locations and the newly-named beer will be tapped for the first time at the end of the final heat. Last year's winner, Jasper, won out over the largest field ever, 42 goats, beating perennial contender Entrekin in a two-goat run-off after the pair finished in a dead heat in the four-goat championship race.

In addition to all those bock beers, GABF Gold Medal Winning Pikeland Pils, Helles Golden Lager, Royal Weisse, Vienna Lager, Charles Bridge Pilsner & Dunkel Lager will also be pouring.

The Bock Festival has become one of the region's most popular beer events and is a perfect family outing. Two large tents are set up in front of the pub to provide cover for guests from the bright spring sun or any showers which might develop. Admittance is free and everything is pay-as-you-go.

There will be extremely limited parking onsite for the Bock Fest and most of that will be taken up by those who have goats registered for the competition. Township policemen will be stationed at the Pikeland Village Square entrance to limit access.

As was the case in 2008, parking will be available in the adjacent STS Tire & Auto Center lot until it fills up, but that will happen early based on previous experience.

The primary parking area will be at the Kimberton Fairgrounds roughly a mile and half south on Rt. 113. There will be a free shuttle to and from Pikeland Village Square throughout the day until 6pm.

Please be aware that cars parked in the shopping centers across the road from Pikeland Village Square will be subject to towing by the township and police will be on hand to enforce parking regulations. Please help us be fair to our neighbors and spare yourselves any problems by not attempting to use those lots.


That striking blue can is back on the shelves again, more of it than ever. Sly Fox Royal Weisse, a refreshing unfiltered beauty which is available year-round on draught and packaged for spring and summer release, was released in late March is and this year's initial order is the largest one the brewery has shipped to date. Perfect for the beach or pool or that secret mountain hideaway you don't tell many people about or for the golf or tennis court, Royal Weisse is the weisse choice for spring, summer and early fall.

But maybe you regularly find yourself in a big beer mood when the cool of evening comes around, no matter what time of year. Well, the good news for you is that three of Sly Fox's formerly seasonal releases Incubus Tripel, Ichor Quadrupel and Black Raspberry Reserve, packaged in corked, 750ml bottles are all now available year-round. Wholesalers and retailers have been telling us that their customers want them to keep these increasingly popular products on the shelves, along with the already year-round Saison Vos, and that they see all four as ideally suited for the upscale beer lists at fine dining restaurants in the region. Who are we to argue?

3 incubus
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.
On the Third Friday of the month, a firkin of cask ale goes onto one of the hand pumps in Phoenixville at Noon.

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