Last Updated on January 2, 2020 by Jeremy
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Sly Fox Brewing is a popular craft brewery that has been making beer outside of Philadelphia since the mid-90s. But it wasn't until 2019 that this one expanded into Pittsburgh with a taproom just steps away from Point State Park.
As we believe that downtown is in need of more places for good, craft beer, we were eager to check this one out shortly after it opened to try their beer and housemade pizza. Sadly, we left this one fairly disappointed.
Sly Fox Brewing's Pittsburgh Taproom is Disappointing
The first thing you'll notice at Sly Fox Brewing's taproom in downtown Pittsburgh is that it is small. In fact, we'd go as far as saying its indoor seating area is roughly the size of the outdoor seating area, which is great for good weather in the summer, but not so much when it rains or in the winter (the latter of which was during our visit).
As the outdoor patio was closed during our visit, the inside space at the taproom felt quite cramped both due to the crowd size and the sheer number of tables put into the small space. To say that we had to squeeze between tables just to make our way to the bar is an understatement, and made ordering food and drinks here a chore.
Space concerns aside, we were able to sample three brews during our visit. These were the Royal Weisse (German wheat), the Vulpulin IPA, and a seasonal Christmas Ale for the holidays. To say that these brews were fairly standard iterations for their styles is an understatement, and they were all decent without straying into any experimental range in the slightest (great for those who may not be into craft beer or just starting out, but not so much for those looking for something unique).
The highlight was the Christmas Ale which was a red ale with mulling spices like cinnamon and nutmeg that was pretty full of spice flavors- much more so than other holiday varieties we've had in the past.
While we would've hoped that a brewery that has been around for 20+ years would have some inventive brews, we did not find this to be the case during our visit to Sly Fox. What they do, they do well, but at the same time does not stray too far from the conventional craft beer mold. Whether this is a good or bad thing is up to you to decide. (That being said, we will say the prices are pretty good for downtown Pittsburgh!)
The Pizza at Sly Fox is Not Bad
On the food side of the spectrum, we opted to check out a couple of pizzas during our visit- the Pierogie Pie and the Buffalo Chicken.
The Pierogie Pie was pretty interesting in that it featured garlic oil, caramelized onion, bacon, pierogies, cheddar, sour cream, and green onion. The flavors were reminiscent of a white pie with some pretty savory toppings and definitely felt like you were eating a pierogi on the puffy dough.
The Buffalo Chicken pizza followed a pretty typical model for this kind of pie with Buffalo sauce, a cheese blend, chicken, tomatoes, spinach, and a ranch drizzle. While it was not terribly spicy from the sauce, it ended up coming together for some pretty good flavors and would be the pie we'd get again if we were to return here.
The only concern we have about the pizzas here is that the crust is pretty doughy for what you'd expect from the oven that they use to make it. Although we couldn't get a great look at it, the oven appeared to be a variant of traditional wood-fired ovens but with a metal bottom that spins to get an even heat across all the pies. We couldn't see the heat source here, but for this kind of oven we would've expected the pies to be a bit less doughy and with more charring.
That being said, we still quite enjoyed the flavors and the pizza ended up being our favorite part of the visit.
Overall, our visit to Sly Fox Brewing in downtown Pittsburgh was a bit of a letdown. Between the fairly conventional beer, incredibly small taproom, and admittedly decent pizza we were not terribly impressed and opted to leave for another round elsewhere (admittedly, this was mostly due to the packed space during our visit). But if the patio was open on a nice summer day, we could definitely see ourselves having a round here again all the same.
Sly Fox Brewing is located at 300 Liberty Avenue Suite 100 in downtown Pittsburgh, just across from Point State Park.