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One of the most popular and anticipated annual beer events in the Philadelphia area will be held at Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville on Friday December 14 as the fourth annual IPA Project Day kicks off at 10am.

This all-day IPA celebration will feature the release of Odyssey Imperial IPA on draught and in 22oz bottles and 11 single hop IPAs on draught, plus casked versions of our flagship Rt. 113 IPA and both Odyssey 2006 and 2007. That's a total of 15 IPAs being poured, making this the largest IPA event ever held by a single brewery with only its own beers (breaking our own record from last year).

The varietal IPAs, each of which was released over the course of the year under the "IPA Project" rubric, will be Amarillo, Centennial, Chinook, First Gold, Galena, Pacific Jade, Magnum, Nelson Sauvin, Phoenix, Southern Cross & Target.

The 15 IPAs on draught will be available in three flights of five beers each. Every flight will feature one version of Odyssey (draught 2007, cask 2006 or 2007) and one cask beer (cask Rt.113 in the flight with draught Odyssey 2007).

This event usually draws beer fanciers from as far away as New England and North Carolina, as well as eager hopheads from the Delaware Valley, New Jersey and New York (including a busload of some of that city's best known publicans). It is definitely one not to be missed.

For our calendar listing and contact information, visit


Sly Fox will release Renard d'Or, our classically complex Belgian-style Golden Ale, in a special 3-liter package for the holiday season. The limited edition jeroboams will be available at both Sly Fox locations in Royersford and Phoenixville.

"We've wanted to release a special, fancy end-of-the-year package for a while now," says brewmaster Brian O'Reilly, "and this year we are finally able to do it. Renard d'Or is the perfect beer for this deluxe treatment, a big, spicy ale with a great nose and very distinctive flavor. These will be hand-bottled in the brewery and should be great for pouring at a party or giving as an unforgettable gift to a beer lover."

A jeroboam holds slightly more than three quarts of beer, or 3 liters, and is a popular size for champagnes (for Bordeaux wines, the same terminology is used for a larger, 4-liter bottle). Many wine bottles are named for Biblical kings and the jeroboam is named after the first king of the break-away ten tribes of Israel around 930BC. Jeroboam is famed for erecting two "golden calves," or shrines, at the extremities of his kingdom, making the packaging of a golden ale under his name nicely harmonious.

Visit our news page for the release date

JANUARY 25, 2008

The Sixth Annual Robbie Burns Birthday Bash will feature, as usual, the release of Gang Aft Agley Scotch Ale, along with Haggis and other Scottish treats, as well as bagpipes and lots of folks in kilts. There's usually a special Scottish food menu and other surprises. More details will be in our next Newsletter (including some news sure to delight fans of Gang Aft Agley), but put this one on your calendar now. It's one of the highlight evenings to embrace during the long, cold winter.Check our Monthly Calendar for Details.

It's the fifth time around for this rugged ten-week "training" program (okay, not so rugged). Boot Camp that allows participants to earn Raffle Tickets for a drawing (conducted on an alternating basis at both Sly Fox locations) on St. Patrick's Day for a free trip to Ireland. Details, ID cards and lots of O'Reilly's Stout available at both pubs. There's a Boot Camp every week on Wednesdays at Phoenixville and Thursdays at Royersford, beginning January 10. Check our Monthly Calendar for Details.

Every Sly Fox aficionado is familiar with these monthly events. On the First Friday of every month, Incubus Tripel goes on tap in Phoenixville at Noon. These special days are the only times Incubus is on draught throughout the year. Two weeks later, on the Third Friday of the month, a firkin of cask ale goes onto one of the handpumps in Phoenixville at Noon. The December firkin is a very special, one-time-only unspiced version of our Christmas Ale! Check our Monthly Calendar for Details.

Waes Hael!

Our annual Christmas Ale is one of our most popular beers. Every year we brew more and more of it and this spiced treat has grown to be our biggest seasonal offering.

Christmas ales have their roots in medieval history when spiced beers were always created around the holidays for caroling parties. The host would take a brown ale and load it up with cinnamon, ginger and other local spices. Drinking this spiced mixture, singing carols and sharing food and cheer with neighbors was an annual experience that became known as wassailing. In fact, the term wassail comes from the medieval waes hael or "be well."

These days, we take care of all the work for you and blend the spices right into Sly Fox Christmas Ale during the brewing process. Trust me, this is a good thing. Spicing the beer is a laborious and lengthy task.

Fresh cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and ginger are the base spices we use. Each one must be carefully peeled and chopped by hand before they are used to create a special "spice tea." That tea is then added to the tank during filtration. Adding spices during filtration rather than adding them to the boil yields a much bolder and fresher spice character and that is one of the qualities of our Christmas Ale that most people mention when describing how much they enjoy it.

While we use the same basic spices each time, the proportions may be altered due to the quality or availability of one spice over another for that given year. And sometimes an additional "mystery" spice is added when the brewer is feeling playful or adventurous. As a result, each year's vintage is a somewhat different beer from all those which have preceded it.

You can enjoy Christmas Ale for yourselves, but it also make an excellent and thoughtful gift for family, friends and neighbors. Make sure you get your stock of this special Christmas treat early, either at one of our pubs or your favorite retail outlet. Even though we make more every year--twice as much for 2007--it always seems to run out. While it is obviously very popular during the winter holidays, a lot of people also buy extra bottles to lay down for drinking later in the year, recognizing that this is a delightful ale for all seasons.

Be Well! Happy Holidays!

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