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Originally Posted May 2, 2008
The event will go on, rain or shine, and several last minute changes have been made to deal with possible bad weather and the parking situation.

Two 30' X 60' tents have been rented and will be erected directly in front of Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery to provide a total of 3600 square feet under cover. Cover has also been provided for the band so that they can perform in comfort.

Also, in a last minute arrangement made possible by the sale of the lot adjacent to the Pikeland Village Square parking lot, free parking will be available there as well as the Kimberton Fire Company Fair Grounds a mile west on Rt. 113 (with shuttle buses running from 10:30am until 6pm). Sly Fox extends its gratitude to STS Tire & Auto Centers, the new lot owners, for their cooperation and generosity.

The party will go on. See you there.

Originally Posted May 5, 2008

First time entrant Jasper won the seventh annual Bock Festival Goat Race at Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery by a nose over perennial challenger Entrekin on Sunday, May 4 before the largest crowd in festival history. The two goats finished in a dead heat in the championship run against the four winners of earlier heats. A record 42 goats were entered in the 2008 races.

The one-year old goat, owned by Chris & Alycia Eckerd of Skippack, was swamped by admirers as Jasper Maibock was tapped by brewmaster Brian O'Reilly and Chris Eckerd, who ran with his winning goat. The brewery's annual Maibock is named for the winning goat each year and the owner receives a $75 gift card good at Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville and Sly Fox Brewery & Restaurant in Royersford.

Entrekin has run in four previous Sly Fox races and has finished second twice and third twice. The 2007 winning goat, Sundae, finished third this year.

O'Reilly, delighted with the turnout out (estimated at 2,900 people by the local daily, The Phoenix) and the participation, noted that the annual gathering is very much a family event and reminiscent of the classic German-style biergartens which were once a large part of the American beer scene.

"Look around," he said. "There are kids all over the place, running around and having a good time, enjoying the time together. There are a lot of people with dogs too. Everybody having a good time, drinking responsibly and enjoying the food and music, it's just a perfect family Sunday afternoon. We keep saying that beer is the most convivial drink of all and this is a perfect example of that."

In addition to the Maibock, Sly Fox had a wide range of Bock beers on tap, including Slacker Bock, Instigator Doppelbock, Helles Bock and Eis (ice) versions of the latter two. That lineup makes the festival arguably the largest Bock Beer Event in the nation every year. Other German style beers were also pouring, including Royal Weisse, Rauchbier and Pikeland Pilsner.

At right, Chris Eckerd enjoys one of the first glasses of Jasper Maibock while the victorious goat relishes his moment in the sun. And sun there was, despite early predictions of rain throughout the day. The possibility of inclement weather inspired Sly Fox management to have two 30' X 60' tents erected in front of the brewpub, providing 3600 square feet of covered space which was welcome relief from a blazing May sun.

"We're going to make the tents a permanent part of the event," said John Giannopoulos, "because they seem to tie everything together and make the whole thing work. Every year we get things a little bit better, I think." The Giannopoulos family owns and operates the Sly Fox locations and Pete Giannopoulos, managing partner at the Phoenixville location, concurred, while expressing his own amazement at the way the festival has grown. "Just when I think we can't get any more people in this lot, they surprises me again."

Both brothers agreed with bandleader Emil Schanta that the Bock Fest is "our own Kentucky Derby." The Schanta Band kept the crowd cheering and hoisted toasts throughout the afternoon and has become one of the welcome stapes of the festival, which is held on the first Sunday of May each year.

Reporter Dennis Wright's story in The Phoenix about the event is available on line here.

Photos by Jack Curtin

Originally Posted May 8, 2008

Philadelphia's "only true man of leisure" and Quizzo master Johnny Goodtimes took time from his busy scheduled to attend last Sunday's Bock Festival and Goat Race and he brought his video camera along:

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