Beer-Cation: Tröegs Brewing Company
When I was planning this brewery tour one of the places I most wanted to visit was Tröegs Brewing Company in Hershey, PA. I’ve had the opportunity to taste a few of Tröegs offerings but their beer is hard to come by in Georgia so the opportunity to have a full tasting was a must.
Hershey was a major stop on the trip anyway as the kids were eager to visit Hershey’s Chocolate World. We left Chocolate World hungry and just in time for lunch. It just so happens that Tröegs Brewing serves food in their tasting room and have outdoor seating, important as we are traveling with our dog. Unfortunately I was not able to arrange to take a tasting tour but lunch and a sampler seemed like a good compromise. To top off a tasting room visit there is also a free self guided tour of the brewery.
Tröegs Brewery is at first sight a very impressive place. The new building (it opened in 2011) is a modern mixture of steel and wood. It is super clean and inviting. The tasting room is large with tons of seating, most of it family style, with long heavy wood tables.
Tröegs offers several flight options. I selected the year round flight of six beers; DreamWeaver Wheat, Pale Ale, HopBack Amber, JavaHead Stout, Tröegenator Double Bock and Perpetual IPA. While tasting these I had a brisket sandwich , braised in root beer and served on a big sourdough roll with mustard slaw, perhaps surpassed by my wife’s Lebanon Bologna sandwich. Our lunch was huge but everything about Tröegs seems to be big, including the flavors of their beers. Some of the standouts were the JavaHead Stout, a rich dark chocolaty beer with a coffee punch and the Perpetual IPA, a teeth numbing hoppy beer. The DreamWeaver Wheat, while still big in citrus and fruity favors, was one of the lightest of the bunch. I’ve heard rumors that Tröegs will be available in Georgia soon, and the DreamWeaver would be a wonderful beer to have on hand for hot Georgia summers.
Another beer I’d drink on a hot day would be the Sunshine Pils, an after lunch beer I tried along with the Flying Mouflan and the Scratch 69-More Helles less Bock. The Flying Mouflan was the first Tröegs beer I ever had and the one that sent me in search of the brewery. The Helles Bock is part of the Scratch series, a group of one shot “experimental” beers brewed in the Scratch Brewhouse. Most of these beers are available only in the brewery.
The walking tour of the brewery is short but a pleasant experience. There is plenty to read about along each step in the brewing process. Tröegs endeavors to be environmentally sound, so there are several points on the tour where you learn about those aspects of the brewery. The Tröegs brewery is beautiful and fun to just look at. Pennsylvania has an irritating law that requires that stores sell beer only in cases, but fortunately this law doesn’t apply to breweries so when the tour ends in the gift shop you can pick up a six pack or two.
Tröegs Brewery lived up to my expectations. The food was good, the beer was excellent and the brewery was organized in such a way that the overall experience was a positive one. I’m going to have to organize another brewery trip just so I can take the tasting tour.
Tasting tours are given Tuesday – Thursday: 11:30, 1:00, & 2:30, Friday – Saturday: 11:30, 1:00, 2:30 & 4:00. Tasting Tours are $5.00 and include samples and a souvenir glass. Tasting Room Hours are Sunday – Wednesday: 11am – 9pm and
Thursday – Saturday: 11am – 10pm and the walking tour is available during these hours. www.troegs.com.