Philly Beer Week is coming – and a new Lager from Sly Fox

Philly Beer Week starts this Thursday night with opening tap!   And Sly Fox has just announced that it has created a new lager that will be released for the occasion- the press release is below.

Hope to see you out and about during Philly Beer Week!

The beer is a collaboration between Brewmaster Brian O’Reilly, Standard Tap’s William Reed and fourth-generation brewer Bill Moeller, who worked at Philly’s historic Ortlieb’s and Schmidt’s breweries and developed the original recipe for modern classic Brooklyn Lager

On Thursday, June 1 at approximately 5:27 p.m. beer lovers following the Philly Beer Week Hammer of Glory (HOG) Relay are in for an extra-special treat: when the official keg hammer reaches Standard Tap, it will be used for a ceremonial first tapping of Northern Liberties Standard Lager. Brewed collaboratively by Sly Fox Brewing Company, Standard Tap owner William Reed and 91-year-old Bill Moeller, this extraordinary lager puts Moeller’s encyclopedic knowledge of beer as a fourth-generation brewer and brewing consultant on historic display on what is sure to be an instant classic in Philadelphia’s thriving beer scene. Standard Tap (901 North 2nd Street) will also host a debut brunch for Northern Liberties Standard Lager on Sunday, June 4 starting at 11 a.m. with O’Reilly, Reed and Moeller leading a meet-and-greet at 12 noon.

“Researching and brewing this beer with Bill has been an amazing opportunity, reminding me how much I still have to learn,” says O’Reilly. “Bill was brewing for 28 years in iconic Philadelphia breweries such as Ortlieb’s and Schmidt’s, at a time before home brewing was even legal in the United States. It’s a real honor to debut this collaborative brew with a true living legend – a man who helped put the Northern Liberties neighborhood on the beer map – during the 10th anniversary of Philly Beer Week.”

The inspiration for Northern Liberties Standard Lager struck when O’Reilly, Reed and Moeller were scrolling through Bills’ father’s malting and brewing notebook and discovered a lager recipe, dated February 6, 1920. At 5.8% ABV, the beer is very drinkable and fresh, brewed with German Two-Row, Caramel and Munich malts, and hopped with Cascade and Hallertau hops. They also used kräusening, a process that Bill requested, wherein about 10% young, still-fermenting beer is added to the aging beer, creating a secondary fermentation that adds flavor and carbonates the beer naturally.

“The long lager-ing period of near freezing temperatures is essential, as it smooths out the beer and rids it of rough-tasting tannins,” says Moeller. “I believe that kräusening produces beautiful complexity in a lager beer, and I was thrilled that Brian and Will were up for it. This is a beer with hair on its chest!”

Per Bill’s orders, a real lager must adhere to a “low and slow” fermentation process and age for at least six weeks. The final product is medium-firm bodied, with deep copper color, complex malty nose and balanced, brassy malt-hop finish. Northern Liberties Standard Lager is the latest installment in an ongoing series of collaboration beers started in 2008 between Sly Fox and Standard Tap and will be available at Standard Tap, Johnny Brenda’s (also owned by Reed) and at Sly Fox locations in Pottstown, PA and Phoenixville, PA.

“Reading Bill’s father’s meticulous hand-written notes made the family’s lengthy brewing tradition really come alive, and it’s very exciting to be able to pour the fruits of so much effort and history,” says Reed. “Fittingly, Northern Liberties Standard Lager will debut just a half-block from where lager brewing began in America.”

Moeller is a fourth-generation brewmaster and World War II veteran who has spent 67 years in the beer industry, tracing his brewing roots back to his paternal great grandfather, an accomplished brewer in his native Germany. Moeller started his own brewing career at Drewry’s in South Bend, Indiana and estimated that his family alone – his paternal great grandfather, grandfather, father, two uncles and Bill himself – have collectively produced about 110 million barrels of beer in America, including Bill himself concocting the original recipe for Brooklyn Lager, the same award-winning beer made today by Brooklyn Brewery. His beers have won critical acclaim both internationally and in the United States, including awards at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and at the International Institute for Quality in Belgium.

“When I approached my father about getting into the family business, he told me, ‘You are going to do it the right way, the traditional German way – or you are not going to do it,’” says Moeller, who also formulated the original recipe for Dock Street’s Bohemian Pilsner. “Lagers and pilsners are difficult beers to make because it is very hard to cover up any mistakes.”


The Brewholder

Copyright 2017 – all rights reserved

Iron Hill to open Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Location

Iron Hill announced that it will open a new location in Rehoboth Beach, in their home state of Delaware.   They anticipate opening in time for Summer 2018!  Here’s the press release:

The beloved local brewery and restaurant group will open Iron Hill Rehoboth Beach,
marking the company’s long-anticipated expansion into Southern Delaware

Founders Kevin Finn, Mark Edelson and Kevin Davies are thrilled to announce that Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, the Mid-Atlantic region’s most-awarded and fastest-growing collection of brewpubs will open in Summer 2018 at 19791 Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach, just south of Tanger Outlets Rehoboth Beach. This will be the third Delaware location for the Wilmington-based company, and their 14th planned location on the East Coast. Since opening their original brewery and restaurant in Newark, DE in 1996, Iron Hill has remained dedicated to producing from-scratch food and hand-crafted beers in a warm and hospitable setting. Their 2016 equity investment from A&M Capital Opportunities positioned them to continue their plan for careful growth, with more brewer-driven locations expected to open over the next several years.

Finn, Edelson and Davies are viewed as innovative business leaders in their home state of Delaware and in the Mid-Atlantic region. They started Iron Hill at a time when small breweries were just beginning to gain mass appeal around the country and their forward-thinking concept – each individual location has their own head brewer – helped change overall perceptions about brewpubs. Delaware has seen a significant craft brewing boom in recent years and Iron Hill’s long-standing popularity among locals helped lead to the state tourism agency’s development of the Visit Delaware Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail in 2010. Iron Hill Rehoboth Beach will join fellow craft beer pioneer Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and six other breweries operating in Southern Delaware, one of the trendiest destinations for craft beer in the United States.

“As we continue to grow, we also wanted to deepen our commitment to our Delaware roots,” says President and Co-Founder Kevin Finn. “Our guests have long asked for us to open a location at the beach, and we are excited to join the thriving restaurant and brewing community in Rehoboth.”

Iron Hill has been widely recognized for their hands-on approach and ongoing charitable endeavors in the communities they serve, especially in Wilmington and Newark. Since 2005, the company has donated more than $260,000 to CureSearch for Children’s Cancer throughout the region, helped raise over $230,000 to support efforts of the Food Bank of Delaware in the past three years and given back over $70,000 in additional support to various charitable partners across Delaware alone over the past decade, including: Water is Life Kenya, UDance, Grand Opera House and Variety – The Children’s Charity.

Named after the historic Revolutionary War landmark in Delaware, where General George Washington battled the British, Iron Hill is among the most enduringly successful craft brewers in the United States. Their 20-year consecutive winning streak at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) includes 45 total medals and is the longest by a craft brewery in GABF history. Iron Hill has also earned the coveted “World Champion Brewpub” title at the World Beer Cup (WBC) three times and Brewpub of the Year title at GABF once.

“We are excited to have one of the best restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic region join Coastal Station,” said Developer Todd Bariglio, who will begin construction on Coastal Station in June. “Coastal Station will be Delaware’s most premier real estate development and we couldn’t have asked for a better tenant than Iron Hill.”

Iron Hill Rehoboth Beach will reflect the same open and family-friendly atmosphere found inside all of their popular locations in the region. The menu will highlight their original chef-driven and brewery-inspired philosophy, with gentle nods to seasonal beers and regional ingredients, including their Gold Medal Stout dessert, an educational partnership with the University of Delaware that combines hand-churned chocolate ice cream with Iron Hill’s gold-medal-winning Russian Imperial Stout.

“We are very proud of our award-winning beers, but it is pairing these fine products with the creativity of our chefs that keeps guests coming back,” says Finn. “Whether it is using spent grain or malted barley spice in our from-scratch recipes, Iron Hill is committed to bringing out the best in beer and food.”


The Brewholder

Copyright 2017

The Philly Beer Evolution


Recently I had the amazing opportunity to interview  some pretty significant people in the Philly Beer writing community – Lew Bryson, George Hummel and Don Russell.  You can check out my article in the most recent issue of Philly Beer Scene.

The stories that Lew, George and Don all shared were fantastic and gave me some insight into how they all became Beer fanatatics – so fanatic that they decided to write about the beer they were drinking!  Now that is passion!

As a “new” beer writer, I really appreciated the  opportunity for this assignment and wanted to thank Lew, George and Don for taking the time to share their thoughts with me!

Meanwhile, it got me thinking about my start in beer writing – and you can read it here.   Special thanks to Mat Falco for the support over the years!


The Brewholder

Copyright 2017