If you were on your way to Sly Fox in Pottstown Saturday, September 22nd and thought you spotted an UFO, well, think again. These flying objects were identified alright. They were Frisbees thrown by 64 registered teams with their eyes on the prize, a combined weight in Sly Fox Beer.
For years, the Phoenixville location hosted a number of events: the Hop Project, Bock Fest Goat Race, 113 Day and last year, the 1st Annual Can Jam. You can’t deny their reputation as event experts when thousands upon thousands show up to see goats race. If they wish to continue and host another event of that magnitude, they’re going to need a bigger boat. Wait, no, wrong dilemma. They’re going to need a bigger location! What better place, than where all the magic happens, Sly Fox Brewery in Pottstown.
By the time I was on scene, cars had already begun to fill the parking lots. Picnic tables were occupied with pizza lovers or those munching on some flavorful Philly Pigs BBQ. Phil Minissale was the first act on stage, setting the melody. Everywhere I turned, someone was enjoying a Craft Beer in their Sly Fox Koozies and jammin’ to the beats.
But you’re probably wondering, “what exactly is Kan Jam?” Well, “Can Jam” is the name of the Sly Fox event, a play on the game and canned beer, but “Kan Jam” is the spelling of the sport itself. For a full list of Kan Jam rules, click here.
Sly Fox regular, Mike Walski, noted the competitors started around 10 a.m., honing their skills and preparing to win. And why not? The prize was a big one, playing for their team’s combined weight in beer! Sly Fox Beer Ambassador, Corey Reid, has participated in a number of Kan Jams beforehand. Much like the successful Goat Race, he saw the opportunity to introduce another annual event that embraced the love for canned beer. Cantacular!
Yes, Cantacular. Part of the everyday Sly Fox lingo described in the Urban Dictionary as “the supposition that beer in cans is better than in bottles because the beer — 1) stays fresh longer, 2) is easier to transport and 3) has a lower environmental impact. That being said, yes, this event is indeed Cantacular and at the heart of this event, rejoices craft beer in cans!
Canned craft beer was not something you saw this way many years ago. Though, thanks to the minds behind Sly Fox and Virtual Farms Creative, they brought this beloved approach, which started on the West Coast, to our fridge. Let’s take a few steps away from the flying saucers and chit chat about this canned beer business.
Before Sly Fox went this route, craft beer lovers in Pennsylvania were enjoying their beloved micro brews either on draft or in bottles. Sure, macro breweries (term for the big timers) like Miller Lite, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Yuengling were found in canned six packs, but the idea of Sly Fox Beer in a can, left consumers disgusted and in fear of that metallic taste.
But fear not! Sly Fox mastered this craft and assured us that not only is that metallic taste a myth, but the beer is actually, well, better! I mean, you wouldn’t think twice about drinking beer from a keg, would you? Well, Sly Fox cans work just like a mini keg and preserve all those flavors inside. Not convinced? Then I implore you to take a peek at the Respect the Cans Poster, which can be found on their wall of the Tap Room.
In addition to Kan Jam, stellar grub and live tunes, Can Jam pays homage to the most Cantacular Person of the Year, an honor bestowed upon the person, place or entity that strives to promote the Canned Beer Movement. Presented this trophy was none other than Crown Cork and Seal. Who better to win than the company providing Sly Fox with their canned packaging?
Alright, let’s get back to Kan Jammin’!
Throughout the day, the 64 teams dwindled. Eventually, it came down to two finalists, the Mint Berry Jammers and the Rasta Bears. Corey Reid and Sly Fox Brewmaster, Brian O’ Reilly, took to the stage, readying the scale. Remember, the team who takes it home is going to win their combined weight in beer. The bigger the players, the more Sly Fox stocked in their fridge. No Biggest Loser here folks!
After the numbers were in, everyone trekked to the field to watch the final teams duke it out. It was close and both teams played well, but returning champions Mint Berry Jammers took home both the crown and 390 lbs of beer!
The rest of the day, people sat back on their lawn seats, enjoying the lineup of awesome live music: Phil Minissale, Manatawny Creek Ramblers, Reverend T.J. McGlinchey, Vinegar Creek Constituency, John Train and Mason Porter. Plenty of beer was to be had, including the limited edition of Can Jam Lager, noted as a Dortmunder style lager with a Sly Fox twist, giving the balanced, slightly stronger export lager some added body and color. Tasty!
All in all, I would say this was a successful win for Sly Fox and their new location. How could you not gravitate to Can Jam? Gorgeous weather, chill music and delicious beer were to be had. Throw in some aggressive Frisbee throwing and you have yourself booked for next year! And who knows, maybe you’ll be trying to win your weight in beer. In any case, (no pun intended) cheers Sly Fox, for another awesome event added to the roster!
View more photographs from Can Jam Festival 2012 by clicking here. All photographs are credited to Kevin Dragone.