POTTSTOWN, Pa. — Punk isn’t a music category, it’s a state of mind… Punk attitude can be injected into any endeavor. You see it all the time in business. Misfits who defy the industry standard carve out their own defiant path. They’re the ones you remember… the needle movers, the groundbreakers, the disrupters, the punks of the industry who advance and innovate.
1987: What a time to be alive!
Thirty-three years ago, a new wave was surging in music and the craft beer revolution’s pioneers were just getting started all around the country. In Pennsylvania, one of those revolutionaries was the first female brewmaster since prohibition—Carol Stoudt.
Stoudts Brewing Company, nestled in the quiet farmlands between Philadelphia’s northwestern suburbs and Lancaster, became a 30-barrel destination brewery including indoor and outdoor biergartens, a bakery, a cheese-making facility, and a 70,000 square foot antique mall. They were innovators in many respects, and brewers that followed learned from Carol Stoudt who, along with her supportive husband Ed, built a regional brewery based on German authenticity.
Throughout the years, Stoudts has been a friend in the brewing community, and Carol personally provided encouragement and tangible support to many startups including Sly Fox Brewing Company.
“The brewing community is full of great people,” reflects Sly Fox founder Pete Giannopoulos, “but Carol is a gem among gems.”
2020: The End of an Era
Earlier this month, Carol Stoudt announced her retirement. Stoudts Brewing Company will continue to brew beer for their restaurant, but friend and mentor Carol is officially out of the game.
“I did my part. Now it is up to the new generation to continue the tradition of innovation that defines craft beer.” she said
Under Carol’s leadership, Stoudts Brewing became synonymous with quality and is one of the most awarded craft breweries in the industry. Carol and her team at Stoudts brewed an impressive portfolio of beers in the time-tested German tradition of Reinheitsgebot, only using the purist minimal ingredients.
“Coming up as a craft brewery in the 90s, we looked up to Stoudts and admired their attention to detail and passion for the craft,” continued Pete Giannopoulos.
To celebrate Carol and the storied history that is Stoudts Brewing Company, Sly Fox recently collaborated with the Adamstown brewery on a special tribute beer.
“We teamed up with the original beer rebels at Stoudts to create a beer that bucks current trends and pays homage to the rich history of craft lagers in southeast PA spearheaded by Carol and her brewing family,” offers Tim Ohst, Sly Fox Brewing Company Director of Brewery Operations. “What’s more punk rock than a black lager in a simply labeled sixteen ounce can?”
Stoudts and Sly Fox drew upon years of lagering experience to develop the collaborative beer, a schwarzbier simply called Black Lager. Pouring a brilliant jet black thanks to additions of Midnight Wheat and de-husked roasted malts, this lager is balanced and crisp with an incredibly clean finish. These sessionable pounders come emblazoned with graphics paying homage to the punk spirit of yore.
Black Lager is currently available in kegs and cans throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The Punks of Beer Tour
To celebrate and promote the release of the collaboration, the team booked a series of punk shows at some of their favorite live music venues known for championing craft beer. Line-ups at the energetic concerts– where Black Lager flows like London Calling into Brand New Cadillac– feature regional acts that still define the spirit of punk rock.
“In a world of mass-produced music and corporate IPAs, you can still find people pushing the envelope,” says Corey Reid, Sly Fox Sales Manager and veteran punk drummer.
Reid’s band Big Green Limousine is one of several on the Black Lager Punks of Beer Tour that has touched down at Johnny Brenda’s and Milkboy so far with stops at the Parks & Wreck Fest at Lancaster’s Chameleon Club and West Reading’s Nitro Bar still to come. Other bands on the dynamic bill have included Urinal Cake and Dead Belly.
If you make it to a show, chances are good that you’ll catch Carol Stoudt rocking out with the best of them, hoisting a Black Lager towards the stage.
About Sly Fox Brewing Company
Since the inaugural brew in 1995, Sly Fox has been dedicated to brewing a wide variety of the highest quality beers. Its critically acclaimed year-round lineup and highly anticipated seasonals are available at the brewpubs in Phoenixville and Pottstown and Taphouses in Malvern, Pittsburgh, Reading, and Wyomissing as well as top restaurants and retailers in PA, NJ, NY, MD, VA, and Washington, DC. Sly Fox was the first craft brewery in the mid-Atlantic to implement a canning line and with it, earned the first-ever Great American Beer Festival (GABF) medal awarded to a canned craft beer. Sly Fox has earned many GABF medals since and is widely recognized as among the region’s best and most enduring independent craft breweries.