Marshall's Mugs: Sly Fox Rt. 113 IPA
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 18:02
Iam going to start this off simply—this is my favorite India Pale Ale I have ever tried, period. I know we were supposed to dive into Budweiser Black Crown or Blue Point’s Toasted Lager this week, but I was unable get a hold of any, and it worked out quite nicely.
Sly Fox Brewing Co. is local to the Pennsylvania area. A mere hour drive is all that separates the 13-month-old brewery from Newark. That’s right Sly Fox has been producing brews on a large scale for just over a year. You can only find their selection in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and New Jersey, and seeing as these states are home for a large percent of the universities students, listen up.
Originally founded in 1995 in Phoenixville, Pa., it took Sly Fox a long time to rise to its claim to fame, but nothing could stop them when they opened their 30,000 square feet, 50-helicopter barrel brewery in Pottstown, Pa.
While I have only tried their Christmas Ale and Rt. 113 IPA, the quality speaks for itself. Now, down to the brew.
I won’t delay the most intriguing part of Sly Fox’s IPA. Its grapefruit aftertaste is what sold me. While I don’t suggest adding it to your eggs and bacon in the morning—except maybe on homecoming weekends—this lingering citrus finish caught my attention immediately.
Front-loaded with Centennial, Cascade, German Northern Brewer and UK East Kent Goldings hops, the spicy bold character stands out as a nice hoppy IPA. Balanced with British Pale and Crystal malts, this IPA blends in with the ingredients of its forefathers, but stands alone in my mind.
So what is the special ingredient? Unfortunately, I do not know nor can I find out. One endeavor of the craft beer world is guessing what brewmasters do to make their beverages taste the way they do. If I were to guess, it is all in how the hops are added during boiling and you were to break down the hop profile of each one added, that would be the key. But some things are better left to guessing than science. Plus, there aren’t enough pages in this issue to break down four hop profiles.
Pour the 113 in a traditional pint glass, and the basic IPA hazy orange color fills the mug. The hops give off a spicy, yet citrusy aroma.
The bread-like and spicy first taste gets washed away by the wonderful grapefruit finish. Mostly served in cans, I would still suggest finding the year-round brew on draft. Pair it with anything, and if you see it, try it, or it will be gone before you know it.