Since its inaugural brew in 1995, Sly Fox Brewing has crafted more than 100 different topnotch craft beers, available in its brewpubs in Phoenixville and Pottstown, Pa., as well as top bars and restaurants in six regions along the East Coast. Sly Fox takes credit as the first craft brewery in the mid-Atlantic to put in a canning line, adding it to their facility in 2006, but is most known (at least to us) for hosting a goat race every year.
Well, Sly Fox just keeps right on growing and is ready to launch a third location just 20 miles west of its Pottstown brewing operation, in Wyomissing, Pa.
“We look forward to immersing ourselves in the community and working with local charities and creating activities at the new location,” stated John Giannopoulos, Sly Fox Brewing president. “Wyomissing is a booming neighborhood. There are large employers, great residential sections, a museum and improvement happening all over. There are tons of great street festivals, events and the restaurant selection is topnotch. We are very excited we are to be part of the future growth here.”
Picking the site
The newest Sly Fox outpost will be located on the eastern edge of the Borough of Wyomissing in a renovated building that was formerly a part of the expansive VF Outlet. Most recently a Dooney & Bourke retail store, the building that Sly Fox Wyomissing will call home is part of a development poised to transform Wyomissing into the ideal live, work and play location in Berks County.
Philadelphia-based Equus Capital Partners purchased the 24-acre center from Vanity Fair Corp. at the end of 2016 with the intention of redeveloping it as a mixed-use campus. Equus has committed more than $70M into Phase I of the Knitting Mills, and Phase II, a 20-acre site north of the main campus, has already attracted corporate tenants interested in new construction build-to-suit offices.
In addition to retaining the retail outlets and McDonald’s, the campus will be anchored by a new Wawa and corporate office users such as UGI Services’ regional headquarters and Tower Health’s corporate offices.
Incorporated in 1906, Berkshire Knitting Mill began as an experimental hosiery factory and, for a time, was the largest fashion knitting mill in the world.
“There’s a real sense of history here and throughout the Wyomissing area,” Giannopoulos said. “With the unique architecture and use of materials, these older buildings evoke a true sense of nostalgia. It’s great to see the community rallying behind it and repurposing the space.”
The 7,000+-sq-ft building features two floors and will include a newly installed wrap-around deck. Materials, including 100-year-old bricks from the original Berkshire Knitting Mills, will be featured prominently into the Sly Fox decor and build-out.
“We’re envisioning a casual dining and bar atmosphere upstairs and a game room below like nothing else,” added Giannopoulos. “The lower space is wide open with room for a stage and bar games. There’s even room for an indoor Kan Jam Tournament!”
Sly Fox Wyomissing will focus on developing a fresh and locally sourced menu to accompany their well-regarded beer portfolio. The convenient location, just off of Penn Avenue, is a prime spot for foodies and craft beer aficionados. Sly Fox has had a strong presence in Berks County for many years. The brewery formed an alliance with the Reading Fightins two years ago and sponsored the team’s Power Alley Pub.
“We are thrilled to get Sly Fox as a lead tenant and believe they will attract other restaurants and stores as well as providing an important amenity for the employees located on campus and residents of Wyomissing and West Reading,” offered Kevin Flannery, acquisition associate and asset manager at Equus Capital Partners, Ltd.
New beers too
Sly Fox Brewing’s Wyomissing announcement comes hot on the heels of other ambitious changes at the brewery that are being positively received in the beer community. These changes include a brand refresh and three new offerings: Sly Fox Mudlust Coffee Porter, Vulpulin IPA and Alex’s Lemon Wheat, a brew that benefits the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
“We’re really excited to create something special in Wyomissing,” said Giannopoulos. “A local pub that offers our award-winning beer lineup, but more — a community asset that people will love.”