Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The New Troegs Brewery

After spending a great hour and a half or so at Spring House, Jo and I headed on to the new Troegs brewery in Hershey, PA. For those that don't know, Troegs used to be in an industrial park in Harrisburg and was pretty much a medium size with a smallish taproom and a retail store about the same size. I always liked it since it still felt personal at that size but things change as places get more popular and I'm pretty sure Troegs was getting mobbed on the weekends so a change was definitely needed. Plus they needed a bigger brewery to keep up with demand which is probably the main reason for the move.

The new brewery is absolutely enormous with a gigantic taproom, a retail store about the size of the old brewery building itself, an enclosed barrel room, and a really impressive self-guided tour. Here's a picture that should give you some idea of the size of the taproom.
Hmm, or not after looking at the picture. I don't know how many people the taproom fits but it was packed when Jo and I arrived on Saturday. The bar has got to be like 100 people long and you can see tables that run through the middle of the room in the picture. There are also some more tables on the other side of the wall on the left that you can't quite see I think.

Here's a picture of people at the bar.
This picture is in the other direction of the previous one and faces towards the entry to the self-guided tour area. That's the doors on the left side there. The entrance to the actual brewery is off to the right too. Just realize this place is huge and beautiful regardless of how I feel about the size.

But, you don't go to a brewery without wanting to try their beer and Troegs has plenty of that available.
Sure, there's some repeats there but that's not really the point. At the time we went, Troegs had their regular lineup plus Nugget Nectar, Scratch 57 and Scratch 58. Since we had plenty to drink at Spring House, I merely went with the sampler of three and got the latter three beers.
I really liked their little tasting glasses though I was amazed that they're like 5oz or something considering they look so tiny. In the picture, we have Scratch 57, a raspberry chocolate weizenbock, Scratch 58, a mango triple ipa, and nugget nectar.

Scratch 57, the Berry Chocolate Weizenbock, had a chocolate and berry nose as expected. Smelled like one of those chocolates with the raspberry filling in it. The first sip was similar with chocolate and berry and then a hit of alcohol and something else. Stayed pretty much consistent through the whole glass. This was good for the chocolate and berry flavors but not for the alcohol and weird base flavor. I'm guessing I just don't like the base weizenbock and no amount of chocolate and berry can cover that up.

Luckily Scratch 58, the mango triple ipa, was pretty excellent and made up for 57. Super citrusy with just a hint of the fruit. Body followed with more citrus followed by some sweetness from the mango. With such a bright nose and clean body with no hint of the high ABV, it was really well made. While it may have started out life as a homebrew, it was incredibly well made in the larger batch. I really enjoyed this and thought it struck a great balance of bright citrus hoppiness and mango sweetness. Too bad I couldn't get a growler of it though.

The last sample was Nugget Nectar but I've talked about that before. It's good and you should drink it. Not much more to say at this point.

After finishing my samples, Jo and I wandered around the brewery some more. The cool thing is that all of the brewing equipment is in sight behind tall glass walls with nothing being hidden. Well, at least nothing hidden that I could tell. I guess if something was hidden but I could still see it then it would defeat the purpose of being hidden. Wait, that's just confusing. Lets say everything is in sight and leave it at that. All in all, the new brewery was amazingly beautiful but somewhat too large for me to enjoy. It's still a cool place to visit and on a slightly calmer day probably not as overwhelming but we probably won't go back unless there is some really cool scratch beer available and we happen to be in the area or they finally release another Splinter beer. Okay so there's a couple reasons I'd go back, but not just to visit the brewery again at least.

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