Sly Fox Hop Project

So Friday 12.11.09 was the annual Sly Fox Brewery single hop variety celebration date, this year dubbed the Hop Project.


See the rest of the Sly Fox Hop Project pictures HERE

This was the sixth year Sly Fox has done its single hop variety year long deal with it climaxing during the celebration date, originally called IPA Day then later called the Hop Project. I have been to the last four years and have had a great time, though this year is the last year. They say (straight dope) it is a combo of reasons roughly based on the idea that the year long brewing of the single hops beers is taxing on the brewing schedule and they do not officially celebrate for their anniversary, which happens to also be in December. So, basically it appears as if they will stop doing the single hop beers throughout the year, yet will retain a celebration day in December for their anniversary with promises of not disappointing. Fair enough.

This year it was Erik, Robert, and I that went up. The doors open at 10AM and we arrived a little before 11AM. Three out of the last four years we have sat in the same seat, this year being one of them. So from being in the same area the last four years I feel as though it gives us a unique perspective on the the flow. I think Sly Fox definitely has there systems down; waitresses were on top of their stuff, beer flights and food flowed easily, and I don’t think I heard any complaints. But, I felt as though it were less busy than in the past. Typically the restaurant fills in wave; there’s the early morning idiots like us, then the lunch crowd / people who take half days from work, and the end of work / happy hour time frame crowd. We’re typically out before it gets much later, but I would assume there is a later resurgence also. Anyway, usually by the time lunch rolls around it begins to fill up, and by the time the after work crowd shows up it is busy, I didn’t feel that way this year, it never felt full to me, but maybe that was just me.

Another change was in the past Sly Fox had always brewed IPAs to showcase the hop varietal beers, this year it was Pale Ales, which may have been a good idea. You figure, a Pale Ale has less malt and is less complex than an IPA so there should be a better chance to show case the hops, plus Pale Ales are lower in alcohol which lets people sample the same amount without feeling the effects so heavily, and there is an opportunity for Sly Fox to use less ingredients thus make more money. They sold the beers in three small flights with five ounce beers, four beers per flight. If I remember correctly my favorites from each flight were the Cask 2009 Odyssey, the Boadicea, and the Argentine Cascade. After the flights we stayed for lunch and a couple pints. We were probably there from roughly 11-ish to 5-ish, which is slightly longer than I anticipated but not as long as it has been in the past.

Overall hats off to Sly Fox once again for one of my favorite annual beer events, and I can’t wait to see what they pull off for next year with their anniversary party.

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