Sly Fox Brewing Company
Sly Fox Brewing Company: “From a Branding Perspective, Cans are Superior”
Sly Fox Brewing Company started out as a family-owned brewpub in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, founded in 1995. Over the years, the establishment exposed many customers to craft beer for the first time. The business was expanded to an off-premise sales program that grew into—and then out of—several other facilities before settling into its Pottstown, Pennsylvania, location with a 40-barrel brewhouse and room for growth.
Along the way, Sly Fox Brewing Company became a leader in the “craft-brew-in-a-can revolution” and became the first craft brewery in the Mid-Atlantic region to put in a canning line in 2006.
Brewmaster Brian O’Reilly says the decision to can their craft beer was instantly gratifying after years pouring from the tap. “We just couldn’t stop smiling about our craft beer in cans.”
For Sly Fox, cans were the obvious choice both for their infinite recyclability and their effect on preserving the quality of their beer. The lighter weight and packable size of cans also meet the needs of their active, on-the-go customer base. But cans are also a perfect match for Sly Fox in providing an overall sensory experience with their beer—from the first time the can design catches the eye through smelling and tasting of the beer itself.
“We were the first in North America to use [one of the new] removable super end cans” starting in 2013, explains O’Reilly. One single pull on the tab can removes the whole can top, transforming the can into a cup and exposing the drinker’s eyes and nose to its “liquid gold” contents. “We believe it’s better. You can really smell the beer—get the aroma.” Plus, that removable top is recyclable and uses less material than a bottle cap.
The design potential for cans is something else Sly Fox fully leverages. “In many respects the can printing surface is superior for branding,” say O’Reilly. “The can for SRT ale was something new that we introduced last year to benefit the Schuylkill River Trail [which lends the beer its name]. On top is actually printed the different mileage marks on the trail and they circle around the can. That’s a pretty good example of the 360° printing.” And a great example of the how Sly Fox Brewing Company is having fun with delivering delicious world-class beer in an accessible package.Next Case Study