In January, Origlio Beverage, Sly Fox’s local wholesaler, asked Brewmaster Brian O’Reilly to help them conduct and judge their first annual homebrewing contest. The idea was to better train and familiarize their sales and marketing departments on the process of brewing. Fourteen teams were given home brewing kits and seven weeks to produce a summer beer style, name it, design a logo and create a full marketing campaign for the brand.
On March 6, a panel of judges gathered in Pottstown to rate each beer. The judges included O’Reilly, Brewing Operations Manager Tim Ohst, Brewmaster from BrauKon and Sly Fox’s brewhouse designer Andreas Wagner, Director of Sales Patrick Mullin, Creative Director of Virtual Farm Creative Inc. Todd Palmer and Peter Giannopoulos, former Origlio intern and son of Sly Fox Managing Partner Pete Giannopoulos. “The beers were 25 times better than I expected,” said O’Reilly afterwards. “We have judged several home brew competitions and this one blew the others out of the water,” added Mullen.
Then came the ultimate reward: Sly Fox agreed to bring the winning team to the brewery to make a 40-barrel batch of their champion Axed Ale. The brew was done on May 31 and Axed Ale will be available on draft locally this summer.