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Sly Fox Brewing Company

Q & A: Sly Fox Brewing Company's Director of Sales

New Hire Determined to Renew Focus for Pennsylvania Brewery

Pottstown, PA, March 7, 2016— Experience in the regional beer world doesn't come any more solid than the pedigree of recently hired Sly Fox Brewing Company Sales Director, Mark Weinmann. A seasoned home brewer with seven years working for one of the world's largest beer brands followed by seven learning the regional craft brewing market, the Philadelphia native is perfectly prepared for this new role where he will manage sales of the Sly Fox Brewing Company portfolio of beers.

Weinmann's affinity with beer, like a lot of people's, started in college where he became proficient at home brewing. After graduating in 1994 he went to work for Bush Creative Services, the marketing arm of Anheuser-Busch. Weinmann soon became team leader for A/B's Budweiser Beer School, a traveling brewery classroom, which showcased the brand and taught the brewing process to consumers and wholesalers.

"The beer school was a great opportunity to witness people's passion for beer," he recalls. "The Beer School held demonstrations from five minutes to five hours at NASCAR races, Disney resorts, Super Bowls, Final Fours and more. I met a lot of people and talked a lot about beer."

After seven years traveling the country with Anheuser-Busch, Weinmann migrated to the craft beer universe not long after 9/11. Weinmann started promoting the Hook & Ladder Brewing brand in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he worked for two years. An unabashed supporter of the fire fighting community, Hook & Ladder donated a portion of their sales to local burn foundations where their beer was sold.

Weinmann, who subsequently married a New York City firefighter's daughter, worked with Hook & Ladder for two years. The brewery's closure motivated him to move back to the Philadelphia region and to pursue a job selling craft beer in the market in which he was most familiar. Weinmann lives with his wife and two daughters in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania.

For the past seven years Weinmann was the area sales manager for Great Lakes Brewing Company headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. Every year his responsibilities expanded and every year Great Lakes beers enjoyed double digit growth in the Mid-Atlantic. Great Lakes Brewing distributes to 13 states and the District of Columbia, producing a capacity of 185,000 barrels a year.

Weinmann started at Sly Fox Brewing Company in late February of this year and, although his new role has him hustling, he agreed to answer a few questions about the brand, his position and the future of craft beer.

Q: What was your initial impression of Sly Fox?
I had always known about the quality of the beers. Initially I was impressed with their level of community involvement. I liked the fact that they're family-owned. That creates a better work environment. It's not just about the business; everyone is a part of a team.

Q: What has been your biggest surprise?
The loyalty of the Sly Fox customer. There are a lot of people that only drink Sly Fox and we need to reward that loyalty, leverage it, and grow it. We have an excellent, Pennsylvania-made product that Pennsylvanians should be extremely proud of.

Q: What is your impression of the rest of the team?
Almost everyone is a long-time employee and everyone is passionate and proud. You can't teach passion but you can look for it in people that have it and lead them in the right direction.

Q: What are your short-term plans for Sly Fox?
To get us back to the basics. We need to simplify processes and focus on what we do best. I want to immediately re-energize local markets.

Q: Is it too early to talk about long-range plans?
No, we want to build off of our organic growth and our current footprint and expand as demand warrants. Getting better is an immediate focus but it all works toward a longer view.

Q: Can you detail any specifics?
Well, cans have done well for this brewery but there are missed opportunities like at the shore, that's a huge market where cans can win. And doing better to promote seasonals to grow Helles (Golden Lager) and (Pikeland) Pils in the summer and O'Reilly's Stout in the winter. Also, the double IPA market is unrealized for Odyssey– an awesome beer in a striking package. It can do better and we're going to evaluate why it hasn't, then move to work with distributors to get better traction and support for that special beer.

We just hired a new DC/Baltimore/Northern Virginia sales rep and we're bringing one on for New Jersey and the Allentown/Easton/Bethlehem markets. We have New York and the rest of PA covered and we realize we need feet on the street where our beer is available.

We are also going to support our partners like never before. We're going to be more present - in distribution, in sales, in marketing - and they're going to be seeing a lot more of us.

Q: What do you think about all of the events Sly Fox manages and sponsors?
There are a lot and I am looking forward to learning how each one works. I attended Bock Fest last year and was blown away by the crowds and the party atmosphere at the brewery. Beer is sports, it's music, it's entertainment, it's even healthier things like the SRT Spree—If your beer is just based in a bar you're not a part of the community. Beer is about having fun and that is hugely important to remember. We're selling fun!

Q: What do you see as Sly Fox Brewing Company's strengths?
The people. Everyone is so dedicated and loyal and there is very low turnover. Personally, I love selling a PA beer. I didn't want to keep growing an out-of-state brand when this is my home. Made in PA is a big strength for this brand.

Q: What do you see as your biggest challenge?
Our current relationships with distribution partners are unclear. I need to evaluate and learn the good, bad and ugly there and look at past performance and history. Another challenge is that all of our beers have the potential to do well. We need to really know our territories and use our partner's knowledge of markets better to make the entire portfolio perform.

Q: What is one thing that excites you most about your new position as sales director?
Being able to steer the ship and lead the crew. I am ready to put twenty years of experience to work for Sly Fox.


About Sly Fox Brewing Company

Sly Fox Brewing Company is a state-of-the-art regional craft production brewery with an adjoining tasting room in Pottstown, PA, opened in 2012 to complement its 20-year-old brewpub in nearby Phoenixville, PA. With current distribution in six states, including Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, Sly Fox has continued to grow in popularity since its first brew in 1995.

For additional information on Sly Fox Brewing Company contact Todd Palmer, Media Relations:



Pottstown Airport Business Center
331 Circle of Progress Drive
Pottstown, PA 19464
P: 484-300-4644



Maple Lawn Shopping Center
520 Kimberton Road (Rt.113)
Phoenixville, PA 19460
P: 610-935-4540

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