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Sly Fox Black Raspberry Reserve was released in early September and is currently available in 750ml, corked and caged bottles, individually or by the case, at our brewpubs in Phoenixville and Royersford. You should also find it on retail shelves and behind the bar at all the better beer venues in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

This popular annual late summer release is a Wheat Ale brewed with German Pils & Wheat malts and Tradition hops. A pound of red and black raspberries is added to the brew per every gallon of beer to help create a sugary sorbet aroma and a pleasantly tart fruitiness on the palate and in the finish. Its easy drinkability belies an 8% abv which makes Black Raspberry Reserve one of the bigger fruit beers available.

Black Raspberry Reserve is a beer well suited for pairing with a wide variety of foods. For example, a plate of mixed cheeses would be an ideal match, as would either a vinaigrette or mixed fruit salad. It goes particularly well with chocolate and many of its devotees have been known to squirrel away a bottle or two to be brought out for a special moment every Valentine's Day. This seasonal is a particular favorite of many of the women in Sly Fox Nation, who enjoy not only the flavor but also the striking beauty of the beer's rich red color in an aperitif glass. Members of both sexes appreciate this tasty brew's warming qualities when sipped from an after-dinner snifter.

"Fruit beers are among the most interesting and challenging styles to brew," says Sly Fox brewmaster Brian O'Reilly. "Using real raspberries rather than a fruit extract allows us to strike just the right balance with the aroma, flavor and character of the fruit so that those characteristics don't become so dominant that the beer is too soft drink-y, if I can coin a word."

Sly Fox brewmaster Brian O'Reilly talks more about fruit beers in his "From The Brewer" column below.

September 22, 2007
Head bartender Corey Reid, the man who dreamed up the very popular St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp event held at both Sly Fox locations every January-March, has put together a "Summer's Over" final fling at Phoenixville. The all-day party will be held outdoors and feature smoked foods (done on the spot), our great beers, a Blue Grass Band & various audience participation games for prizes. It's a season-ending blast as only Sly Fox could do it. Call you spell "FUN," boys & girls? Check our Monthly Calendar for more details as the big day grows closer.

Every Friday

Twice a month, very special beers are offered at Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville and nowhere else. On the First Friday of every month, Incubus Tripel goes on tap at Noon. These special days are the only times Incubus is on draught throughout the year. Then, on the Third Friday of the month, a firkin of cask ale goes onto one of the handpumps at Noon. These beers pour until they're gone and that's it until the next time. Check our Monthly Calendar for Dates & Beers.

December 14, 2007
Is this the largest single all-IPA event anywhere in the world every year? We like to think so and nobody's argued otherwise to date. The culmination of the year-long IPA Project, a series of single hop varietal IPAS offered in limited draught release on a monthly basis, this all-day celebration offers all of those varietals on tap and the first tapping of Odyssey Imperial IPA, a big majestic beer made with all those hops. Check our Monthly Calendar for Details.


Earlier this month, Manhattan Beer Distributors Inc., the fourth largest beer wholesaler in the country, acquired the rights to distribute Sly Fox beers in the metropolitan New York City area. It was the second time in six months that a major wholesaler acted to acquire distribution rights for the brand. Sly Fox distribution in the five-county Philadelphia area was taken over by Origlio Beverage, the region's largest wholesaler, last April.

The fact that these major distributors have clearly shown that they want Sly Fox as a part of their speciality beer portfolios in what are considered two of the major markets in the nation points up the underlying strength of the already rapidly-growing brand, says managing partner John Giannopoulos. "We didn't approach them, they came after our rights on their own, based on what they'd recognized in the marketplace. Both Origlio and Manhattan formed Specialty Beer divisions this year and both of them saw the potential for Sly Fox beers to help them become major players in the craft beer segment."

Giannopoulos said that Sly Fox is looking into ways to expand its current production capabilities quickly in light of these developments and that the company might consider building its own new plant in the future. "We are negotiating to lease a off-site location nearby where we can install a second, much larger cold box we've just acquired. We will use that facility to hold packaged beer awaiting distributor pick-up and our packaging inventory of yet-to-be-filled cans and bottles, along with some of our hops, malt and other supplies. Hey, maybe some day we'll even have the pleasant problem of having to find room for some empty kegs instead of always scrambling around to find enough of them to meet our distributors's needs."

"Having that additional storage space will give us the room to add two JV Northwest 40bbl fermenterss and a 40bbl brite tank which we are buying this month for delivery by the end of the year. We're also adding another brewer who will start in October and we will consider running a second brewing shift if we need to."

For more on this story, and for all Sly Fox news, visit


Once you've had the real thing, you can never go back.

Often, when we have the imitation first, we can be fooled into thinking it is the real thing…until we learn better. When I first started brewing, my mother didn't have the love for beer that she has now. She found most beer too bitter. She did have one favorite, though, Oregon Raspberry Wheat.

When I was brewing with Phil Markowski in Merrimack NH, I brought home a growler of our Black Raspberry Wheat Beer for dinner. It clicked. "It doesn't taste like perfume," my mother exclaimed.

That night she drank a real fruit beer and there was no going back.

In my career as a brewer, I owe a great deal to Phil Markowski. One of those debts lies at the heart of Sly Fox Black Raspberry Reserve, a beer with roots stretching back to that beer from Merrimack.

Too many times, when a customer cautiously approaches a "fruit" beer offered by a brewpub, he is confronted by a bland light beer which has been perfumed with extract. In those instances, I always feel that it is a beer the brewer has given up on, one that he just makes "because people want it." You know what I mean.

Because I never wanted that to be the case with any beer I made, our interpretation has grown in both alcohol and color over the years. We work very hard to insure that, when you open a bottle or drink some draught of our Black Raspberry Reserve, you are in for something special.

We brew and ferment a base beer which is copper in color and then transfer it onto the fruit for a gentle secondary fermentation. This way, the fruit is fermented without losing the enticing aroma of the black and red raspberries. And we don't skimp on the fruit either. We use one pound per gallon of real red and black raspberries.

After the secondary fermentation is over, we filter the beer and add more yeast and sugar to the bottles for a third fermentation. This makes them unique and also helps them age for years to come should you be strong enough to wait that long.

Whenever you drink it, enjoy our Black Raspberry Reserve as an Aperitif with cheese or as an after dinner treat. Or any way you want.

It is a real fruit beer.

And you will never go back.

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