Sly Fox Brewing Company - Helles Golden Lager
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):18
Serving Temperature:40-45º F
Suggested Glassware:Pilsner Glass, Tall Flute
Helles means “pale”, and this Bavarian-style of golden lager is extremely popular in Germany as well as among the patrons of Sly Fox – their Helles Golden Lager has been brewed for over two decades and is their flagship and most popular product; it’s also won Bronze at GABF. Presenting a brighly golden and clear hue capped by a head of pale foam, this helles offers up an attractive look and an engaging aroma. We picked up noble hops tending toward floral, earthy, and lightly spicy, accompanied by a very light wisp of lagery sulfur after a good swirl, atop a base of underlying bready, malty notes. Helles lagers are characterized by less hop bitterness than pilsners along with a fuller malt core that offers a touch more perceived sweetness due to those restrained hops, and that’s what we get here. There’s a nicely bready, malty core which comes through quite roundly, and we picked up a light hint of pear or other tree fruits, as well. The hop bitterness is low, joining with the carbonation to offer a touch of relaxed bite to balance the brew. In fact, per the style, balance is the name of the game here, with all components coming through in harmony with no note out of place. For pairing options, we’d go with bready dishes that the beer can accentuate, like chicken or turkey pies. Shellfish can also make a nice accompaniment, as can grilled whitefish, weisswurst, bratwurst, and mild and creamy cheeses. Cheers!
The Sly Fox story began in 1994 when Pete Giannopoulos left his job in corporate sales to pursue his dream of opening a brewpub. But when he talked to the New Jersey investors who’d been encouraging him, he discovered that talking was the extent of their game. Having lost the investors he thought were on board, things all fell into place with a single suggestion from family patriarch, Dr. Peter H. Giannopoulos: “Why not let us be your partners?” With that, what had been simply a personal business prospect suddenly became a prospective family trade.
After finding a suitable location for their operation, Pete quickly went to work designing the pub, while he and his younger brother John set out to become professional brewers. The whole family pitched in, with Mrs. Giannopoulos helping to decorate and various aunts and uncles helping out. Older brother Harry was put in charge of the books and financial records, while younger siblings Wendy and Glenn signed on to work at the pub. The name “Sly Fox” was chosen to reflect the brewpub’s home in Pennsylvania’s Chester County and the area’s fox-hunting tradition. The Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery opened its doors on December 20, 1995 in Phoenixville, PA.
In 2003, Sly Fox was named among the top three brewpubs in the country by Beer Advocate and in 2004, having outgrown their initial location, the brewery moved into a new 20-barrel brewhouse in Royersford, PA. In 2006, Sly Fox became the first Mid-Atlantic brewery to install a canning line, pioneering packaging that has now largely become the default for craft beer. 2012 saw another expansion, this time to their current location, a new 40-barrel brewhouse in Pottstown. In 2021, Sly Fox passed into the next generation as Pete’s son Peter took over as president. Over the years, this highly acclaimed brewery has taken home numerous Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals from the Great American Beer Festival. For more info on their multiple pub locations and their current lineup of tasty brews, visit them at www.slyfoxbeer.com.
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