We met with Ryan Slicker, the self-taught brew master who keeps something on draft for EVERY beer drinker. Here’s why you should stop sleeping on Fury.
ABV is our weekly series that highlights a different beer from a local Pittsburgh brewery every week. Check out our past picks here.
When Fury Brewing officially opened its doors on March 24, 2017 in North Huntingdon, it was the realization of a (self-taught) journey for head brewer and co-founder Ryan Slicker.
After leaving his day job at a cable company, Slicker was determined to take his passion for beer to the next level.
A native of Vandergrift, PA, Slicker is agile and muscular. A competitive athlete, he plays in a men’s hockey league and was literally on the ice (for a game) the night before our interview.
Between sips of his recently released barrel-aged stout beer, Slicker takes us for a walk – literally and figuratively – through his story.
Early Success with Homebrewing
“I submitted three of my homebrewed beers to TRASH (the Three Rivers Alliance of Serious Homebrewers) for feedback. They were a German Pilsner, an IPA and a stout. I was fresh out the gate and – after scaling up from a kit to extract to grain – I literally JUST wanted feedback,” Slicker explains.
“Well, my beers took first, second and third place in their respective categories and the pilsner took home best in-show.”
Upon realizing that brewing came somewhat naturally to him, Slicker began talking to professional brewers.
“I got so much good advice from folks in the industry. Being entirely self-taught, it was super important to have folks I could lean on when I had questions.”
First-Timers at Fury
If you’re arriving at Fury Brewing for the first time, Slicker gives one piece of advice: Order a flight.
“I like beer; all beer. I love to brew (and drink) different styles and there is no style I won’t try.”
He continues, “We brew a VERY wide variety here and my aim is to keep as many styles as possible on at once. Get yourself a flight.”
Like what you’re trying? Fury (usually) always has cans to-go AND they offer a mix and match program. The staff is both knowledgeable and super friendly. There is zero pretentiousness to be felt at Fury.
Slicker points to Fat Heads Brewery when discussing folks who inspire him.
“Malcolm Fraser (at Fat Heads) is VERY knowledgeable when it comes to beer. He is the kind of guy you want on your team; I go to him with questions.”
Slicker continues, “Also, I have ALWAYS looked up to Penn Brewery because I love German styles (of beer). After traveling to Germany, it made me admire them even more.”
What’s in the (beer) pipeline?
“We will be doing a pumpkin beer and an Oktoberfest,” Slicker explains. “For pumpkin ale fans, ours will contain pumpkin spices along with vanilla and lactose so it has a nice, creamy mouthfeel. We expect it to come in right around 7% ABV.”
Additionally, Juicy Brews beer festival attendees – on Sept 21 in Lawrenceville – will be treated to a souped up version of Slicker’s New England IPA.
ABV, volume XXXII
Flying Pieces – available now at Fury Brewing
Beer Name: Flying Pieces
Style / ABV: New England IPA, 6% ABV
Why we recommend it: Fury’s best selling NEIPA, the Flying Pieces is something Ryan and his team can certainly be proud of. Hopped (generously) with Motueka, Mosaic and Citra hops, you’ll note hints of grapefruit, melon, lime, gooseberry and passion fruit in this hazy, hoppy flavor-punch. If you find yourself enjoying the IPAs at Dancing Gnome, Cinderlands, Grist House and Brew Gentlemen – then you will walk out of Fury thoroughly impressed.
The bootstrapped outliers from North Huntingdon are absolutely keeping up with the competition and we’re here for it.
When is it available: Flying Pieces has returned to Fury’s draft list and is available now in the taproom.
Additionally, Juicy Brews beer festival attendees will be treated to a double-dry hopped, triple IPA version of Flying Pieces. The 3FP (as it’s referred to) will weigh in bigger, bolder and stronger than its taproom counterpart. At approximately 10% ABV, the 3FP will served at Juicy Brews in Lawrenceville alongside the I’m 40% Sour Raspberry – one of Fury’s kettle sour beers.
How is it served: Fury will get you set up with Flying Pieces in their standard 16-oz draft pour. You can also take some home with you in a 1-liter growler or 64-oz growler.
Where is it available: Fury Brewing (North Huntingdon)
Honorable Mention Beer: Blueberry Blazer (Fruited Sour Gose, 4% ABV)
Visiting Fury Brewing
Parking: use the free parking lot right in front of the brewery. You’ll note the two big (visible) signs from the road.
Food: Your best bet is to order from Inferno, which is conveniently located next door and even MORE conveniently has a point of sale inside the Fury taproom. You literally don’t even have to leave the brewery. Just place your pizza order with the Fury staff and they’ll punch it right into the remote system which triggers the restaurant a few doors down.
Interior: It’s a simple, clean, no frills taproom. The bar is easy to navigate with updated menus on the overhead screens.