On the morning of 4/5/14 we ate breakfast at a café across from the Pennsylvania state capitol then proceeded to travel east to the city of Easton, bordering the Delaware River and New Jersey. Our draw to Easton was, of course, the local brewery, one that has made quite a name for itself over the last nineteen years of operation in PA. Weyerbacher Brewing Company was established in August 1995 by Dan and Sue Weirback in an Easton livery stable. The brewery’s name comes from the original spelling of the couple’s last name, which had been morphed over the years following immigration from Germany. Dan had been passionate about homebrewing and, after visiting another brewery in Vermont, Sue suggested that they look into starting their own business. Originally the concept was to make some standard styles however the couple soon thought, what are we doing that is different? By 1997 they had begun adopting the philosophy “Set Yourself Apart” (now the company slogan), doing so by making big, full-flavored beers. The following year they added a kitchen to feed the growing volume of visitors but, when the lease ran up in 2001, they chose to move to a larger location and focus solely on brewing.
On the morning of 4/2/14 we said goodbye to Philadelphia and, accompanied by plenty more rain, made our way into central Pennsylvania to tour Sly Fox Brewing Company’s new production facility in Pottstown. We got there as the taproom opened at 11 am and were thankful to meet with Director of Sales, Patrick Mullin. The name, Sly Fox, actually comes from a still existing tradition of fox hunting in the surrounding Chester County area and in that vein of locality, many of the beer names are based on local landmarks. The original brewpub location, Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery, was opened by Peter Giannopoulos in nearby Phoenixville in late 1995 and the Giannopoulos family still owns the brewery to date. In 2004, they opened up a 20 bbl production facility in Royersford in order to keep up with increased demand, however, growth was steady and by 2011 the restaurant was sold to former employees to make way for a larger operation in Pottstown which came online in 2012.