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Monday, January 2, 2012

Three Times the Tröegs!

I would be remiss if I didn't include something on this blog to celebrate the opening of the brand spanking new Tröegs brewery, now situated in chocolate capital of the United States - Hershey, PA.  Well, after seeing the new brewery, Hershey just might become the beer capital of the United States... at least for this avid beer aficionado! 

Enjoying a Scratch #56.  Mmmm... Simcoe hops!
First off, let me begin by stating that I am already embarrassed that I have not included anything about the new Tröegs brewery thus far on The Pour Travelers.  Shame on me, indeed!  Not only is Tröegs responsible for introducing me to craft beer (R.I.P. Rugged Trail), they are perhaps my favorite brewery in PA and also brew arguably my favorite beer of all time, Nugget Nectar.  So, when I found out that they were moving the brewery from its original location at Paxton Street, Harrisburg to Hershey Park Drive in Hershey, I was ecstatic!  It seems also important to mention that Tröegs tripled its floor space from 30,000 square feet at the old brewery to a whopping 90,000 square feet at the new Hershey facility!  What does this hopefully mean for everyone?  More Tröegs beer, of course!

For the past several years, I have enjoyed going to Tröegs during my lunch break or after work for special releases, firkin events, etc. due to my office's close proximity with the old brewery.  (I worked on Erford Road in Camp Hill, and a quick shot over the Harvey Taylor bridge landed me at Tröegs in about five minutes, barring any unforeseen traffic unpleasantries.)  Lucky for me, I found out that my company's Camp Hill office was closing and I would be working from home, coincidentally around the same time that Tröegs would open its new brewery in Hershey.  Since I am situated in Annville, Hershey is only a stone's throw away at only seven miles or so.  And with the tasting room's expanded hours, you can bet that I will be a fixture there!

On the afternoon of New Year's Eve 2011 (also Brewslut's birthday), we headed over to Tröegs to snap some long-overdue pictures for the blog and to raise our glasses one last time and give salute to 2011, which was a pretty damn good year for us, in retrospect.  (Editor's Note: My next blog is going to be a recap and year-end review, so stay tuned!)  So what better way to cap off a great year than with some great beer? 

The Scratch brewing system.
When we arrived, I was pleased to see that THREE Scratch beers were flowing, including the outstanding Scratch #56, a single-hopped Simcoe IPA.  The T2 Ale and new DIPA were also on tap, but the Simcoe IPA was just too damn good to justify getting something else in its place... so I drank three of them!  I'd also like to give a quick shout-out to my good friend Vicki, who is now working at Tröegs.  She had been my favorite female bartender at Appalachian Brewing Co. for years and a huge herbie fan, so I was delighted to learn that she was now working at Tröegs!

Scratch #56 stats.
If you have yet to visit the new brewery, you really need to get there pronto!  In addition to the gigantic tasting room, they also have an expanded gift shop that now includes mix-and-match six packs, plus a bevy of merchandise including everything from glassware to clothing to accessories.  You can also take a self-guided brewery tour, which provides insight on the brewing process, barrel aging, the bottling line, and the science behind making great beer.  Don't forget to get a beer before the tour!
Josh and I behind the counter.
If you go to the brewery hungry, you might be in for a rude awakening, especially if you visit on a weekday.  Aside from a bowl of hard pretzels, your only option is a frozen Salisbury steak microwaveable dinner for $10.  If you visit over the weekend, chances are good that a food truck will be there peddling its wares.  However, word on the street is that Tröegs will likely be contracting out a local catering company to provide simple yet fresh sandwich offerings on a daily basis.  Hopefully this will go into effect shortly, but for the time-being, you can still BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) or use the food truck.

Tröegs' hours of operation are Monday to Wednesday from 11am to 7pm and Thursday through Saturday from 11am to 8pm.  They are closed on Sundays.  See you there!

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