Return to the Sly Fox Beer Legacy News Archive

Sly Fox Rauch Bier was awarded the Gold Medal in the Smoke-Flavored Beer category during the traditional Saturday afternoon Awards Ceremony at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver on October 11 in the Colorado Convention Hall.

It was the second straight GABF Gold for Sly Fox Brewing Company and brewmaster Brian O'Reilly and his brewing team. In the photo at left, O'Reilly accepts congratulations from Brewers Association president Charlie Papazian on stage shortly after the win was announced. (Photo courtesy of Carolyn Smagalski, "The Beer Fox" at Bella Online).

There were 30 entries in the Smoke-Flavored Beer category in Denver and Sly Fox's win came at the expense of the perennial winner in that category, and one of the nation's cult beers, Alaskan Smoked Porter, which finished with the Silver Medal.

Rauch Bier is a draught only beer available at both Sly Fox restaurants and select locations over the course of the year. It is currently on tap at the Royersford pub and will be one of the featured beers in this coming weekend's Oktoberfest celebration in Phoenixville.

In his Brewer's Column below, O'Reilly talks more about his Rauch Bier and takes us inside the GABF.

Check it out!

The month of November is always marked by the release of Sly Fox's malty, full-bodied holiday seasonal brew and, for many of us, this beer's appearance is the first real sign that the most celebratory time of the year is on its way.

Christmas Ale is brewed with traditional mulling spices: Ginger, Clove, All Spice, Cinnamon & Nutmeg, which are added during filtration. Each vintage is slightly different from the last because spices vary in intensity and complexity each year. Available in limited quantities on draught at the pubs, and packaged in 750ml bottles which feature a new and distinctive label every year, this is the perfect pour for holiday gatherings and dinners.

Many customers purchase Christmas Ale by the case because it is an ideal and always appreciated gift for those surprise holiday visitors. Others stock away bottles to mellow and mature for vertical tastings or sharing as a special treat later in the year.

Check Current Availability.


Phoenixville - October 24
Sly Fox Phoenixville will mark Oktoberfest this year with a special menu featuring three courses of German cuisine paired with three Sly Fox beers. And an incredible beer lineup; the debut of our new Berlinerweisse, and the long-awaited return of Keller Pils, GABF 2008 Gold Medal Rauchbier, Oktoberfest, Schwarzbier, Dunkel Weisse, Royal Weisse, Dunkel Lager, Helles Golden Lager, Instigator Doppelbock, & Helles Bock.

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, February through November, a new Varietal IPA Project beer 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. 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...

Our 8.0% abv Black Raspberry Reserve hit the market early this month and is now available on draught and in 750ml bottles at both our pubs, at the best beer venues in your neighborhood and on the shelves at your favorite retailer.

Some people call it the most beautiful beer in the glass they've ever seen. The Oregon farmer who grows the fruit we use to make it haggles with us every year about how many additional bottles will be sent to him as part of his payment.

This unforgettable wheat ale is made with fresh berries purchased from the Decker Farm in Oregon, where they are pureed and shipped frozen in a refrigerated truck. They are immediately added to the brew for a second fermentation that creates the unique flavor, which marks one of Sly Fox's most anticipated annual releases.

This very popular beer is noted for its tart finish and sugary sorbet aroma and is a perennial favorite for both festive evenings and special occasions, most especially those of a romantic nature. Ladies love them some Black Raspberry Reserve.

Check Current Availability.

By now many of you have heard the news. We were awarded a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for our Rauch Bier.

The GABF is the biggest beer competition in the world. This year the festival sold out two weeks before opening night. Three days, four sessions, 36,000 people and almost 3,000 beers entered for judging, it is absolutely mind blowing. I was one of the judges (we do it blindly and never in categories in which we have beers entered) and I can tell you there were some amazing beers submitted.

The smoked beer category has always been a tough one. The perennial winner, Alaskan's Smoked Porter has been tough to beat in the past, so we are particularly proud of this year?s medal. It's always very satisfying to go up against the very best and come out on top.

Rauch Bier is not a new style of beer, although it was mostly unfamiliar in this country until craft brewers began to recreate the style in recent years. At one time, in fact,? all beer had a smoky character because the only way to kiln or dry the germinated barley was with a wood fire. After brewers started using coke, a smokeless coal, the malt became lighter and had a cleaner character that we would recognize today. We have evolved past this into using hot air and now malts are even lighter.

The city of Bamberg Germany never let go of the ancient style. They smoke their malt over Beechwood, which gives it an aroma and flavor reminiscent of smoked meats. This can be shocking when you try your first sip. The first time I tasted a Rauch Bier I was repulsed.? But we live and learn and now it has become one of my favorite beer styles. Let's just say, after the initial shock, Rauch Bier tends to grow on you.

The locals in Bamberg say that you need to drink four or five mass krugs? (a one-liter glass mug) before you actually like it. That's a lot of beer, but I? guess you could think of it as an investment.

Sly Fox Rauch Bier is available only on draught when we get a chance to make it. You may be able to find it at a good bar or restaurant or grab a growler at Phoenixville or Royersford. Of course, if you follow the advice of those Bamberg experts, you may need to grab three or four.


© Sly Fox Brewing Company, All Rights Reserved.