By Tim Rodgers, Goat Race excerpt by Matt Goldstein
After living in center city Philadelphia and the New York City area for some time after college, I had reservations about moving to the outer suburbs of the greater Philadelphia area. The anxiety didn’t stem from being deprived of the Brooklyn Pizza, the pastrami, or even the Philly cheese steak, but whether or not if I could get a decent craft beer. To my delight, the Sly Fox Brew Pub and Restaurant was merely a mile from my house. Several 100 growlers later, and having my first-born’s christening party there, I figured I’d let you all in on the Phoenixville/Collegeville’s dirty little secret.
Founded in 1995, the Sly Fox has become ingrained as a staple of dining and nightlife in the Phoenixville area. Founded by Pete Giannopoulos and family, and now headed by brew-master Brian O’Reilly, the Sly Fox line of craft and seasonal brews have taken home several prestigious awards. The Pikeland Pils German style pilsner has won the gold medal award at the Great American Beer Festival in 2000, 2007, and a bronze medal in 2003.
What stood out immediately for me was the freshness of the ingredients used in crafting the brews. The hops used in making the Phoenix Pale Ale and the Route 113 IPA are top notch. I was blown away. “A big, flavorful IPA for all the hopheads out there, brewed with imported Pale and Crystal malts, and hopped with Centennial, ascade, Columbus, German Northern Brewer, & UK East Kent Goldings. Bold and spicy. 16.4 OG | 113 IBUs | 7.0% ABV.”
I constantly come back to get my growler filled up with these two fine ales. On Tuesday, you can get your growler filled for 1/2 price, and as a Sly fox growler card member, I get my eighth growler filled up for free.
The fine folks at the Sly Fox have now expanded their operation to canning their fine ales and distributing them in the mid-atlantic markets. I’ve seen their Pikeland Pils on tap in several downtown Philadelphia hot spots. Therefore, you don’t even have make the trek past historic Valley Forge to get the Sly Fox Incubus a Tripel ale in the abbey style. Publisher Matt Goldstein and myself have thrown back several of their Saison Vos in style many of times, and have stumbled out of there to tell about it!
I am calling on all you hopheads, proud stout connoisseurs, Belgian fiends, and beer aficionados alike to check out the Sly Fox Brew Pub. However, we here at the Whiskey Goldmine have our reputation to keep. Therefore, I must be honest about the food situation. It could use improvement to get the complete and ultimate experience. I usually get the crab cake sandwich or burgers, which are really good, especially washed down by the fine brews. The staff is super friendly, and very which you unfortunately do not find that often these days.
The Goat Races: In order to come up with a name for their new beer every year, the Slyfox gets pretty creative. Do they have fans write in with ideas or name the beer after a former king or philosopher like a normal brewery? Of course not. The Sly Fox has goat-herding beer drinkers from far and wide come to the brewery and race a goat across the parking lot. The name of the goat that wins the race becomes the name of the beer. And fear not Goldmine fans; the Whiskey Goldmine will be racing a goat across the parking lot for sure. We already have a stable of goats to choose from. Hopefully the goat we race is already named Goldmine Beer Whiskey Imperial Barley Wine Stout.
Check your local beer supplier to see if they carry the Sly Fox brew or visit them in the Phoenixville or Royersford locations.