TJ’s Restaurant and Drinkery, located in Paoli, was voted as one of the top 25 places in the world to have a pint by the popular website Beer Advocate. And after being there just ten minutes, I knew this to be true. Especially after noticing the lit sign above the bar, which reads, “No Crap on Tap.”

On Wednesday, July 25th, TJ’s hosted a Tap Takeover featuring two of Pennsylvania’s finest breweries, Sly Fox and Tröegs, and offered a wide variety of styles.

The following is a list of selections from each brewery and as you can see, it was a pretty nice spread.

Sly Fox

  • Slacker Bock
  • Fox Track Ale
  • Homefront IPA
  • Charles Bridge Pilsner
  • Axed Ale
  • Peggy Maibock
  • Oatmeal Stout
  • Grisette
  • Renard D’Or
  • Instigator Doppelbock
  • Hefeweizen Doppelbock

Tröegs

  • Scratch #60 Spring Fest Lager
  • Scratch #67 Brotherly Suds Vol. 3
  • Scratch #68 Zwickel Licker
  • Scratch #66 Biere de Grouch
  • Perpetual IPA
  • Hopback Amber (CASK)
  • Sunshine Pils
  • Pale Ale
  • Java Head Stout
  • Troegenator
  • Dreamweaver Wheat
  • Flying Mouflan

I arrived a little before the event began and people were already at the bar, ordering flights from each list. Bartenders Scott and Amy were very good at staying on top of things. And if you wanted a sample before committing to anything on the list, they were also available to try.

There was also a Happy Hour special for this occasion as well:

  • $3 Tröegs Flying Moufflan
  • $3 Sly Fox McBains Abduction
  • $3 Sly Fox Grisette
  • $3 Sly Fox Oatmeal Stout

I took a minute away from my flights to speak to TJ’s owner Jeff Miller about the tap takeover. I mentioned what really caught my attention was the most talked about beer of the evening, Sly Fox’s Homefront IPA. It’s been a tough find since Sly Fox first released this solid brew. It tends to disappear pretty fast!

Jeff gave me the run down, but I also managed to overhear Patrick, the representative from Sly Fox, give the beer’s back story to other customers. Proceeds from the Homefront IPA, part of Operation Homefront, provide emergency assistance to military families. And when it’s a beer that tastes as good as Homefront, it’s not difficult to make a difference! More information regarding the Homefront IPA can be found here.

As for the remainder of the evening, I managed to talk to both reps from Sly Fox and Tröegs, Pat and Nick. Jeff mentioned at the beginning of the evening these guys are not there as rivals, but are in fact really good friends. I happened to spot them each drinking the other’s varieties!

Another popular selection of the evening was Tröegs’s newest addition, the Perpetual IPA. I was under the impression it was Tröegs’s first “official” Indian Pale Ale, but Nick with Tröegs explained they’re deeming it an “Imperial” Pale Ale. Interesting.

All in all, TJ’s brought in a solid crowd of beer aficionados. The bar was packed within hours! Each customer received complimentary pint glasses from Sly Fox and Tröegs, which I thought was a very nice gesture. This was my first time at TJ’s, but from what I’ve gathered, they run a very smooth operation. They provide awesome service, great menu items and a stellar beer selection. They might be in the top 25 on Beer Advocate, but they’re definitely climbing my Top 5.

Find TJ’s Restaurant and Drinkery at 35 Paoli Plaza in Paoli or online at tjseveryday.com.

Photographs credited to Shawn Rice.