Sly Fox Blows the Lid Off of Canned Beer


Helles yeah – It’s about time!

Pottstown, Pennsylvania’s Sly Fox Brewing Company has just announced it will be releasing it’s new Helles Golden Lager in a new kind of beer can – one with a completely removable top. 

“This technology allows the full flavor and aroma of the beer to hit the drinker’s senses and makes the can an even more appealing package for outdoor activities and situations where you want to be able to move around and sip your beer easily,” said Sly Fox Brewing Company head brewer Brian O’Reilly in comments distributed via the brewery’s website.

This new take on the modern beer can will save folks who live where Sly Fox beers are sold (PA, NY, NJ,and DE) the trouble of lugging along a blue plastic Milwaukee Zoo cup when they sit with their family at Fabulous Fridays at Cupsaw Lake in the summertime and want to fully experience the beer they’re drinking without looking like a dweeb.  Not that it’ll have any personal effect on yours truly.  🙂

Sly Fox is introducing the new can with the early April release of Helles Golden Lager, and plans to do a limited release of their Pikeland Pils for Phillies fans who venture out to Citizens Bank Park come summertime.

I’m interested to see how this new open-top container will go over with consumers.  When Sam Adams was researching designs for their new can, a removable top was an approach favored by brewery founder Jim Koch, but it freaked people out in the test groups, as they imagined all sorts of flying pests and other outdoor detritus having easy access to their exposed lager.  I prefer what Sly Fox has done, but others may find it off-putting.

Also no word on if the tops can be used as throwing stars or if they’ll easily open a toe, but as a person who’s old enough to remember finding beer can pull tabs in the sand, I’m hoping the safety of the lid’s edge has been considered in the design.

At any rate, I need Oskar Blues to take note here – we need to see this technology on Dale’s, Old Chub and MLYP by June.  Get on it, folks!

What do you think, cool, creepy dangerous or dumb?  As always, let us know below!



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Categories: Beer, News


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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30 Comments on “Sly Fox Blows the Lid Off of Canned Beer”

  1. March 25, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    So I guess this means I won’t have to dust off the faded neon yellow Discovery Museum plastic cup that’s been my constant companion to the kid’s summer camp pool for the past couple years.

    Bravo. Just seems to make too much sense not to do it. And about the shrinking wallflowers who were worried about incoming insectiles, correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure the same risks have always been presented by the ubiquitous Red Solo Cup (pre and post country music fame).

    I’m with you on hoping for more widespread adoption by other can-enabled brewers. Avery White Rascal and, dare I say it, Alchemist Heady Topper????


    • March 25, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      Ha ha – you’ll never see Heady Topper in one of these. John Kimmich was quite clear that air and light are the enemy of his beer – that’s why he wants you to drink it from the can, where a disk of carbon dioxide sits on top of his precious liquid and protects it from the ravages of oxygen. Taking the top off would make him crazy!

  2. March 25, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    As w/ most innovations–mixed!

    Wayne’s 1st Law (a corollary to Murphy’s’s Law) stipulates that some idiot(s) will find a way(s) to do him or herself (or kids) permanent physical and/or emotional damage by using any given device in a way it was not intended. One of Darwin’s Laws (Natural Selection) suggests we should allow them to do themselves in. (Municipal laws usually prohibit this last however.)

    Wayne’s 2nd Law stipulates that one use footwear when walking in public recreation areas. (Slip-on deck shoes work pretty well at the beach.)

    For the craft beer drinker, I think its a step up–you get the lightness and convenience of the can (and its light-denying properties) as well as the olfactory pleasure associated w/ drinking good beer out of a glass or stein.

    • March 25, 2013 at 10:47 am #

      So you’re saying bad for idiots, good for beer geeks.


  3. johnking82
    March 25, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    I see kids slicing off their fingers. Well, drunk kids.

    • March 25, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Yeah, me too. I’m pitching this story to the folks over at Today, and if it’s a go, I’m going to dig deeper into the safety issue. I’m assuming that it’s idiot (kids – and Don) proof, but it’s all fun and games until Junior loses a pinky.

      • johnking82
        March 25, 2013 at 10:54 am #

        I see these new cans turned into dangerous fleshlights.

        • March 25, 2013 at 11:00 am #

          Most guys will wait for the tallboy version I think, you know, just to make the right impression…

        • March 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

          Most disturbing comment on beer and whiskey bros. nice job John!

        • March 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

          And that’s saying a lot.

  4. BeerBanker
    March 25, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    I see more trash everywhere… I’m ok with the widemouth opening on most cans now…

    • March 25, 2013 at 11:00 am #

      Yup, it’ll take a little personal responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen, and many people are too selfish to give a damn.

      • March 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

        And will most likely be too drunk to care. Just sayin…

        • March 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

          I think this would be less of a problem w/ craft beer drinkers. However if Big Beer adopts the style, then yes they will become part of the trash load–along w/ soda cans, whiskey bottles, cigarette packs, fast-food packaging, etc.

  5. March 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    I think it’s a great idea, but like everyone else, I do see the lowest rungs on the ladder injuring themselves in some form or manner.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath on Oskar Blues, Avery, etc. getting anything like this anytime soon. Most Colorado breweries get their cans from Ball here in CO, and I’m sure Crown, who’s making Sly Fox’s cans will have patented the process. That’s not saying Ball can’t come up with something similar, just not the Whole Monty.

    • March 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      I dunno know about that. Sam Adams was working with Ball on their cans, and they had the open top concept as well, so Ball has the technology. They just need a partner who wants it.

      I’m going to dig deeper into this for my column next week and see about the hazards and benefits – I’m curious to see how far it has been thought through.

  6. March 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    It’s interesting that Sam Adams heard concerns about the top being too open, when a solo cup and keg has never caused any problems before.

    • March 26, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      Yup. I’ve actually sent some questions over to Jim Koch at Samuel Adams to get his input on the fact that Sly Fox brought this can to market when he decided against it. Hopefully he’ll provide some insights – I know they went through a huge process to wind up where they did.

  7. March 25, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Reblogged this on Mort.

    • March 26, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      Thanks PL!

  8. March 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    I like to think Tallgrass Brewing out of Manhattan, KS was onto something early. They deal cans mostly exclusively now, I believe, and they have some really sweet can designs.

    • March 26, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      I always use Oskar Blues as my point of reference for craft can pioneers – they were canning their stuff way back when, before anyone else thought it was a wise thing to do.

  9. Diss Content
    March 25, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Their solution to canned beer is simple and elegant, just the way I like things. But for some reason, pull top beer cans are the whipping boys for environmental protagonists, and a litmus test to demonstrate just how low we’ve collectively sunk as a species, when people hurt themselves with this convenience.

    No problems with digital amputations, tongue lacerations, or roadside litter if the pull top was from the old (metal) Pringles cans, nut or soup cans. But fill those same containers with beer and it will spontaneously generate legal actions, new laws, and a new subset of stupid behaviors to occupy the human pantheon.

    I like what Sly Fox has innovated and predict many injury free sips in my future. But then I was raised when water pipes were made of lead, eye protection was squinting, and cars had metal dashboards and no seatbelts in the back. In other words, I survived. Now pipe has to be copper, eye protection comes with a head strap, and cars have padded everything, airbags, ABS, and safety glass, which apparently have preserved the lives of those, who most likely will hurt themselves with a pull top beer can, then sue.

    I need a drink.

    • March 26, 2013 at 10:20 am #

      Few soup sippers or Pringle munchers (which is now my favorite new insult) wind up drunk and careless after opening their respective vessels.

      I think folks generally don’t like people who drink beer in public, especially ones who don’t give hoot and choose to pollute.

  10. Brendan
    March 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Sly Fox rox

    • March 26, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      in their foxy fox sox.


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