Sly Fox News

March 16, 2018


Sly Fox Brewing Company Consults in Caribbean

Pottstown, PA— The U.S. Virgin Islands have a lot to offer… Environmental treasures, beautiful beaches, great fishing, diving, friendly locals and pleasant tourists. Natural wonders abound throughout the Caribbean but no island is more picturesque than St. Croix. The largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix is just south of the Tropic of Cancer and is home to the easternmost point of the USA.

St. Croix is also home to a brand new craft brewery.

Leatherback Brewing Company is a start-up brewery located in Frederiksted, St. Croix. Founded by the President and CEO of the Sly Fox Brewing Company in Pottstown, PA, John Giannopoulos, along with partners Patrick Gilbert, Aaron Hutchins and Scot McChain, all of whom are St. Croix residents.

Giannopoulos recalls how it all started. “Patrick (Packy), a longtime Sly Fox customer and friend, had recently moved to St. Croix and reached out to me about possibly importing Sly Fox beer to the island. My wife and I were leaving for a vacation in Puerto Rico and we took a day trip to St. Croix to discuss various opportunities there. Upon touring the island it became apparent that the real opportunity was to start a new craft brewery on St. Croix.”

The dream came to fruition in the Spring of 2017 when the partners began searching for a location. They found their ideal spot at the VIEDA Industrial Park, just north of the airport and began demo/buildout in summer 2017. The next big step came when the partners hired former Sly Fox brewer (most recently of Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Co.), David Bronstein, as Brewmaster and Bronstein's wife, Ivy Hunter, (formerly of Victory Brewing) was hired as Retail Marketing Manager.

The project was advancing smoothly until Mother Nature slammed the Caribbean with back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria. Maria caused major damage throughout the island and all utilities, phones and internet were down for months. Construction continued thanks to the hard work and dedication of the St. Croix partners Gilbert and Hutchins, as well as Bronstein and Hunter. First brewing began in mid-March and the adjoining tasting room and outdoor bar are scheduled to open in April/May.

It is Leatherback Brewing Company's mission is to produce quality craft beer at competitive consumer prices to locals and an audience of revolving tourists thirsty for quality. The brewery has had two beers available–Leatherback Lager and Leatherback IPA both of which were brewed and imported by Sly Fox. In mid-March all beers will be produced at the new brewery in St. Croix.

Leatherback is already distributing draft beer around the island and will offer several varieties in 12 oz cans by early May. You can learn more at or

The business was a from scratch start-up and didn't even have a name at this time last year.

"We discussed a lot of names and wanted something that was a tribute to the island and to nature," says Giannopoulos.

The Leatherback is a turtle that migrates far from the Carribbean Islands but always returns home.

"It's a perfect symbol for St. Croix. Once people visit they always come back.

"We have talked about organizing a special trip for Sly Fox fans," muses Giannopoulos. "We are striving for the same authentic, award-winning quality but in a beautiful island setting."

Artist's Rendering.


Best Time: April-June, expect mild weather and very little rainfall

Airport: STX Henry E. Rohlsen Airport

• Grand Opening: Brewing is expected to open, Spring 2018

Where to Stay: There are dozens of resort hotels, historic inns, guest houses, cottages and private homes near the brewery

Island Hopping: Sister islands of St. Thomas and St. John, and Water Island are only a short seaplane ride away and there is a twice a day ferry from St. Croix to St. Thomas