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Chester County Bitter - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Chester County Bitter
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BA SCORE
80
good

50 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 18.23%


Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This traditional British Ale is authentic cask conditioned beer with a smooth malt profile balance by a subtle hop presence. Dry-hopping in the cask produces an enticing hop aroma in this quaffable session ale.

(Beer added by: corby112 on 10-14-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 18 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75



Pours a rich and deep golden color with a creamy foam topping and plenty of lacing. Aroma of doughy malts and lightly citrusy hops. In the taste, a firm malt foundation with earthy, rooty hop character. Firmly bitter, this fits the style quite nicely. The body is light, smooth, and gently carbonated. Refreshing and bitter. Overall, this was a really good "real ale".

Serving type: cask

01-19-2014 03:21:40 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask, served in a pint

The body sits a dull golden orange with a bubbly off-white cap. Huge sip marks cover the inside of the glass.

The nose has a little bit of everything from the hops. Pine needles, earth, spice, flowers, and a little bit of citrus bitterness. Bready malt and some toffee round out the nose.

Mildly hoppy, mainly earth and spice shining through before a rush of citrus and bready malt. The finish has some toffee notes with pine. The bitterness is pleasing. Never overpowering, pretty true to the style.

Creamy, full feel thanks to the cask. Low carbonation.

This was a nice little bitter that I wasn't expecting. Pretty authentic, good hop bill. Well-crafted.

Serving type: cask

09-15-2012 12:46:17 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Format : on cask at the Phoenixville brewpub.

Appearance: clear gold, with a small, quickly settling head and nice lacing that clings to the glass.

Aroma: mild bready malt; lightly sweet and floral. Subtle citrus.

Flavor: also quite mild; malt has a slightly nutty toasted bread quality; very gently hopped; low bitterness; some fruity and floral notes; a bit of caramel sweetness, but finishes semi-dry.

Feel: medium light bodied with lie carbonation; smooth and creamy on cask.

Overall: easy drinking and mild on taste; fairly traditional; notbad but a bit unexceptional.

Serving type: cask

07-29-2012 14:46:51 | More by tobelerone
Photo of fishacura
fishacura

Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, it's not Fuller's IMHO but it's a very good attempt at an ESB from this local Chester County PA craft brewer.

Slyfox does a nice job branching out into the ESB world on this one. Nice blend of hops without being overbearing or too bitter.

The one slight complaint I would have would be that I felt the beer was overly carbonated. I like a little less for an ESB whereas I felt like this was carbonated like a summer pils or the like.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2011 16:31:56 | More by fishacura
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chester County Bitter has a dark golden body with a thin, spindly, tan head. Decent retention and lacing, the type you expect from a cask pour that is good, but not great.

The aroma has some fruity hops and bready malts to it.

The flavor has a noticeable hop bite to it, with zesty citrus and some other fruity hops. Slight bitterness and perhaps a touch of pine come from the hops also. The malt backbone balances nicely, and it is probably a little stronger than the hops. A very bready and grainy taste gives way to a bit of caramel-type sweetness. The beer finishes fairly dry.

The mouthfeel is light with fairly low carbonation.

I liked this one enough to have a couple pints of it. It's nice to find a tasty craft brew that is under 5% ABV, and a cask that is treated well is always a treat.

Serving type: cask

03-20-2011 15:32:36 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a nonic pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear reddish golden brown in color with a ¼" creamy head that persists for quite a while. Sipping leaves scattered legs or lacing.

Smell: The aroma is soft and pleasant and includes some malt, some citrus zest and a touch of pine. While not strong the aroma is pleasant.

Taste: The flavors include the caramel and toffee from the malt, traces of citrus zest and fruit with some light earthy character. There is quite a nice balance of malt and hops here.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth as silk with gentle but lasting carbonation. The finish is medium long with some ending hop bitterness.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I enjoyed this one, finding that each sip followed naturally from the other. I certainly would be willing to have this one again. My overall impression is of a well made, thoroughly enjoyable beer that is well worth drinking.

Serving type: cask

03-19-2011 00:16:51 | More by drtth
Photo of scottbrew4u
scottbrew4u

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Served from cask at McMinimens to mug a clear light amber to golden orange color with a fluffy white one finger head.

S: Bready and roasted malt with a sweetness of vanilla, caramel, and toffee. Hops were orange peel and herbal with a touch of peppery spice in the nose. Looking for a bit more in the aroma but good.

T: Lightly toasted malt and fresh bread, some vanilla and toffee add a mild sweetness. Orange peel and grapefruit from some PNW hops with a spicy European hop finish. Chamomile bitterness is in there too which ways in more than the sweet maltiness.

M: Smooth and creamy, light to medium body. Subtle smooth carbonation as a good cask ale should have.

D: All round great session beer with a nice flavor and ease of drinkability.

Serving type: cask

01-07-2011 05:11:59 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask, via hand pump, @ the Sly Fox Brewing Company (Phoenixville, PA) on 12/20/10. Served in a 10 oz Pils glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of tight and foamy bright-white head. This retains with a thin creamy frothiness that leaves back spotty lacing which sticks to the sides of the glass. The aroma is grassy and a little spicy, with some bitter smelling citric character and a touch of earth. This is set against some malty tones of fresh baked biscuits and a dash of sweeter caramel in the nose.

The taste has both a fresh citric flavor and bitterness going on here and is balanced by a sturdy backbone of bready grains, which trails some leftover light toast into the finish, along with dry spice and rind. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied, with a light prickle to the carbonation that runs through the middle of the feel, but is mostly easy on the edges and overall very smooth on the palate. This feels good on cask.

This was another pleasant enough quaff that I found on the hand pumps here at Sly Fox. This Bitter had some bite but was still mostly well balanced and the easy feel from the cask and lower ABV kept this drinking nicely. Sessionable little brew here.

Serving type: cask

12-21-2010 17:56:47 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Soonami
Soonami

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have not seen Sly Fox Chester County Bitter before, but since it was offered on cask at Local 44, I thought that I would give it a try since the beers they present on hand pumps are always well done. This is a beer that had a good bit of dry hopping either in fermentation or on cask, that really adds a nice woody, fresh hop aroma and flavor. The malt adds a bready character that helps ground the beer and provided the body that a smaller hopped beer requires.

Serving type: cask

12-13-2010 04:22:15 | More by Soonami
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On hand pump at Al's of Hampden...

A - One fingers worth of slightly off-white batter-like head with minmal retention... A rich caramel color... Still with limited carbonation... Leaves rings upon rings of lacing on the glass that stay throughout...

S - Loaded with bready malts... Caramel... Toffee... Some euro hoppiness... Textbook, but subdued for the style...

T - Wonderful assertive mix of malt and hops... The bready malts and caramel are at the forefront as expected, but there is a not so subtle hop kick on the finish that lingers slightly...

M - Light to medium bodied... Slightly creamy... Slightly thin... Goes down very easy, but seems mildly inconsistent from sip to tip...

D - Drinability is off the charts... A great tasting ESB that is sub 5% ABV... I could drink this all night long...

Serving type: cask

09-10-2010 00:33:27 | More by philbe311
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
BeerAndBourbon

Ohio

3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Firkin at the Grey Lodge Public House in Philadelphia for Friday the Firkinteenth, 13 August 2010.

A. Pours amber with a thin head.

S. Peppery hops and caramel on the nose.

T. Bitter upfront with light malt.

M. Thin to medium body with low level of carbonation (firkin).

D. This is a good easy drinker that won't challenge your taste buds. Good preparation for my most anticipated firkin beer of the night: DFH's 75 min.

Serving type: cask

09-08-2010 03:43:28 | More by BeerAndBourbon
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a glass on cask at Tap and Table. I always like a good bitter, but the red color is a little dark for a bitter. The flavor is dominated by crystal malts (there's the color). Really, the beer just tasted like a lighter amber/red ale on cask. That's not all bad, there was a please citrus hop note in addition to the caramelized malt, but I'd hope for more depth.

Serving type: cask

02-12-2010 02:53:02 | More by tempest
Photo of TheycallmeTim
TheycallmeTim

New York

3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler into a tulip pint.

Looks great--pitch perfect apple cider color. On the darker end of the range for the style, which is fine by me. Small ring of salmon roe popped up and popped out.

Smells pretty, too--stiff green apples, some minty notes, faint faint earthiness. Smells restrained and refined.

Taste proves the nose is false advertising. This is neither restrained or refined, and doesn't coax nearly enough out of the malt for my taste. There's a rough, unbalanced feel to the flavor profile, no doubt as a result of what seems like a heavy-handed hopping. The finish is just plain astringent, which I thought was because it was too cold, even though I didn't even refrigerate the growler. So I held it in my hands--I cradled this tender pint--but, sadly, it just became warmly astringent.

Mouthfeel, again, suffers from that astringency. Never quites attains that creamy buttery blanket for the juicy biscuit middle heaven that I like in bitters. Oh well.

It's ok for an American version of the style. But American craft brewers are showing they don't do subtlety real well. Right now the English are kicking our asses in the bitter category.

Serving type: cask

02-04-2010 21:45:55 | More by TheycallmeTim
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cask at Cole's cask festival. A fine bitter although a sour finish. Pros were the understated bitterness, and full mouthfeel. A faint Caesar crown an apple juice colour. Is it infection? Sourness does spoil getting it spot in, still a drinkable one.

Serving type: cask

12-06-2009 23:57:59 | More by Sammy
Photo of TeddyBrew
TeddyBrew

New York

4.58/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I tried this on cask at Biercraft in Brooklyn. They had three fine beers on cask that evening, but this is the one I chose to take home in a growler. This beer was true to the style as an English Bitter, which can be hard to find here.

It was subtley hopped and that refreshing, almost watery, follow through that is distinctive of a fine bitter. There was plenty of nice malt and hop flavor, and a pleasing "bouquet" throughout, but all around it had an air of understatement.

Went you want a big IPA or a hoppy Pale Ale, they can be found, and that's great. However, IMHO the more brewers can produce beers in this style, the better!

I will definitely look for more from Sly Fox.

Serving type: cask

12-06-2009 01:06:29 | More by TeddyBrew
Photo of thatguy314
thatguy314

New York

3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dull copper color, slightly hazy at room temp, perhaps from dry hopping

Aroma: earthy, spicy hops dominates, some caramel malt. Peach and pear esters. Would like more malt to hop balance for style (hoppy for english style) but quite pleasant

Flavor: raisiny caramel malt and biscuit, typical for style. Resiny hop character from dry hop again a little out of style. Ditracs from rich maltiness. Would have preferred more end of boil hop addition as would have been less resiny.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, finishes dry. Rich cask mouthfeerl. Is there any other (good) way to drink a bitter?

Overall: one of the best american bitters I've had, but a little too much hop, particularly dry hopping. Turns a fabulous beer into a good beer by throwing balance off a bit. That said, darn tasty.

Serving type: cask

11-08-2009 19:43:21 | More by thatguy314
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Brazen Head, Brooklyn.

Poured a medium copper hue with a wisp of a head.

The smell featured a lemony hop and a light malt.

The taste consisted of a smooth pale malt, a touch of crystal and a balancing dry herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty and easily sessionable ale.

Serving type: cask

11-07-2009 19:55:30 | More by plaid75
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark hazy golden yellow with some ripe banana hues and a bit of lighter golden yellow color when held to a light source. Frothy, soapy white head with excellent retention, only slowly fading to a thick lasting cap that leaves sporadic spots of lacing in it's path.

Sweet light malt aroma with some subtle spice and light floral hops.

Clean, crisp and extremely smooth creamy body. Very drinkable with light sweet English malts, subtle spiciness and a very crisp clean floral hop flavor. The alcohol is very well balanced, considering this beer is 7% which is very high for a traditional English real ale. The fact that this beer is that high in ABV disqualifies it as a session beer but it drinks like one and is a very complex with a lot of full flavors. The hops really come through in the finish, but not in an overpowering or bitter fashion. This beer is very well balanced and an excellent American interpretation of the classic British style. I will be drinking a lot more of it soon.

Serving type: cask

10-14-2009 07:31:32 | More by corby112
Chester County Bitter from Sly Fox Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.