Sly Fox Brewing Co. is transforming again. The brewery that evolved from a local brewpub in Chester County, Pa., is now distributing to six states and the District of Columbia. Sly Fox Brewing Co.’s production has exceeded the definition of microbrewery and is now designated a regional craft brewery.
Breweries that produce less than 15,000 barrels (bbls) a year are designated as microbreweries while regional craft breweries are those that produce between 15,000 and 6 million bbls annually according to the Brewers Association.
“We packaged our 15,000th barrel sometime around 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 5 when the first cases of Helles Golden Lager spun through the canning line that morning,” recalled Tim Ohst, director of brewing operations. “I’m surprised no one noticed tectonic movement when we shifted from micro to regional at that exact moment.”
The Brewers Association reported that there were 1,221 microbreweries and 97 regional craft breweries in the United States as of June 2013. While the number of microbreweries more than doubled in the last two years, the regional craft category only added 26 breweries since 2010.
“Our growth has been steady,” offered Brewmaster Brian O’Reilly. “It’s the result of a loyal customer base that has expanded organically as more and more people try Sly Fox beers.”
Well regarded for their authentic representations of classic styles, Sly Fox Brewing Co. currently cans 10 different craft beers with plans to release additional varieties in 2014. The 18-year-old brewery also packages in 750 ml corked bottles.
Sly Fox is a brewery known for their celebratory spirit with several big events that are anything but “micro.” An annual Bock Festival in May featuring oompah bands, German cuisine and the racing of goats boasts as many as 5,000 attendees while their Can Jam Music Festival, a free concert and lawn game tournament at the brewery in September, continues to grow.