22 December 2010

Troegs Scratch # 39 & Last Call for Splinter Black

TroegsScratchJust heard from Troegs a few minutes ago:

SCRATCH #39 SNEAK PREVIEW FIRKIN – TOMORROW (12/23)! The IPA mayhem continues on Thursday, December 23, at 1 p.m. with another Scratch Firkin sneak preview. Join us for the tapping of Scratch #39 – the next entry in out IPA foray. Cases, six-packs and growlers WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE – just delicious gravity-fed, yummy beer. Formal Scratch #39 release is Monday, December 27 at 10 a.m.
SPLINTER BLACK LAST CALL! We are down to the final cases of Splinter Black and expect it to run out in the next two days. If you didn’t get your chance to get this beer, stop by the brewery tasting room pronto.

08 December 2010

Troegs Splinter Black Coming 12/15

Troegs SPlinterFrom Troegs:

Splinter Black Release Date Announced! Troegs Splinter Black goes on sale Wed, Dec 15, starting at 8am at Troegs Brewery. We have a significantly larger quantity of Splinter Black than other beers in this series. With cold weather approaching, we ask that you don't stand in line all night.

We will be handing out wristbands at 6am and will start sales two hours earlier than usual. There is a two bottle limit per customer. We will have two lines dedicated to cash sales so we ask that you pay with cash to help speed up purchases. Look for complete parking & sales details on www.troegs.com on Mon, Dec 13

07 December 2010

Troegs–Labels from the Past

TroegsMadElf2004 TroegsOatmealStout2000 TroegsESB1999
TroegsLager2002 TroegsPatriotPale2000 TroegsNutBrown2001
We always get nostalgic this time of year, so as an early Xmas gift, I thought I’d post up some historical Troegs packaging from beer-days gone by.  Anyone remember ALL of these???  In order we have:  Mad Elf 2004, Oatmeal Stout 2000, ESB 1999, Bavarian-Style Lager 2002, Patriot News Pale Ale 2000, Nut Brown Ale 2001

Troegs Scratch #34 to be Turned into a Barrel Aged Sour

TroegsScratchFrom the Troegs Blog:

When Life Gives you un-carbed Scratch Beer…You make sour beer. As we mentioned in the description for Scratch 34, Tim’s Belgian Brown, we tried in vain to bottle-condition the beer to a high degree of carbonation. Since we couldn’t sell it in that state and we are loathe to pour perfectly good beer down the drain, we’ve spent a lot of time since then emptying the bottles by hand into our oak barrels. Today we finished emptying the last of our 150-or-so cases into barrels, which was a good feeling, to say the least. You ever open and dump a few hundred bottles of beer at a time? It helps if you can find your mental happy place.

In the end, though, it’ll be worth it. We’ve been tasting some of the barrels, and it’s very early, but the dark fruitiness and spice of the base beer should play well with the oak and the funkiness from the blend of yeast and bacteria that we took from some other barrels, including 2 types of Brettanomyces, Lambicus, and who knows what else. It needs some time, but like I keep trying to tell everyone, you can’t rush genius.

30 November 2010

Troegs NEW 17bbl Pilot System


From Troegs:
Check out this picture of our finished pilot system BrauKon built us! 17bbls of Scratch Brewing fun..

29 November 2010

Troeg’s Promotion on Mad Elf—Golden Ticket to tour the new facility!

TroegsMadElfFrom the Troegs Newsletter:

Tröegs Ticket and Classic Mad Elf Labels!

Starting next week an extremely limited number of Mad Elf cases will be shipped randomly to beer distributors in our home state. The purchaser of these cases will have the opportunity to be one of the first people to see the new Tröegs Brewery in Hershey when we open in the fall 2011.

So how do you know if you bought the special case? There are no markings on the outside of the case but once you open it two things will make the case special - there will be an envelope taped to the lid of case containing a Troegs Ticket and 12 of the bottles will adorn our classic Mad Elf logo.
If you get one of these special cases, read the Tröegs Ticket, follow the directions and keep one of those special bottles, as you will need it, along with the ticket, to get a special behind-the-scenes tour of the brewery next fall from the Tröegs brothers.

23 November 2010

Troegs Scratch # 38–Friday Sneak Peek

TroegsScratchFrom Troegs:

Scratch #38 Firkin Friday Join us Fri, Nov 26, at 2 p.m. for a sneak preview firkin of Scratch 38. Neither cases nor draft will be available on this date (in fact the beer won’t even be packaged) we are stealing a firkin’s worth from the aging tank to give everyone something to do (beside shopping) on Black Friday.

Scratch #38 features Centennial and Chinook hops creating a piney/grapefruit nose and flavor.

29 October 2010

Troegs Scratch # 36 is Available

TroegsScratchSCRATCH 36 NOW
Scratch 36 is now available at the
Troegs Tasting Room in pints, growlers, six packs and cases. Here are some
...details about the beer:

O.G.: 13.4
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 10
Malt: Pils, Red Wheat,
Hops: Magnum, Saaz
Yeast: Lachouffe/Ardennes
Juju: Coriander, Sweet & Bitter Orange Peel,
Black Pepper, Star Anise
Code: Bruce Wit

21 October 2010

Troegs–Scratch, Splinter & Perpetual Imperial Pale Ale

With all the exciting new beers coming out of Troegs lately, I thought you’d want to see a little sneak peek at some of the labels.

In order we have Wild Elf Ale from the Splinter Series, the upcoming Scratch Series White Ale (brewed with spices) and a REAL interesting beverage that I’m still chasing down details on called Perpetual IPA. This looks like hopback’d & dry-hopped IPA (“we’ve developed a drive to meld artisanal and mechanical. Perpetual IPA utilized our hopback & dry-hopping to engineer a bold Imperial Pale Ale”) DO make note that they are calling it am Imperial Pale Ale and not India Pale Ale. Look for this to be in 22oz bottles.


15 October 2010

Troegs Scratch # 34

TroegsScratch From Troegs:

At Tröegs Brewery we love beers that tell a story and beers with surprise endings. Dubbed TBB, Scratch #34 is brewer Tim Mayhew’s take on his favorite beer style.The story behind TBB gets to the foundation of the Scratch Series – experiment..., educate, have fun and beware of pitfalls. We chose to bottle condition TBB as Tim wanted a near-champagne carbonation for this beer. However, yeast does what it does, and in this case, it crapped out before finishing. Even after Tim spent one evening reinvigorating the yeast (that means he shook the hell out of 180 cases of beer for 30 seconds each), the beer still would not finish and a decision had to be made. Always innovating, Tim and the brewers dumped as many bottles as possible into a wood barrel, and we will await the surprise ending. For now, enjoy Scratch #34 on draft and stay tuned for the complete story.

Scratch #34 packs a malty aroma suggesting raisins with hints of chocolate and caramel. On your taste buds, the raisin flavor continues along with traces of dark rum and subtle spice provided by the Westmalle yeast. It finishes with a slight hop bitterness.

06 October 2010

Troegs Scratch # 35

TroegsScratch From Troegs:

Join us on Fri, Oct 8 for the release of Scratch #35 – Fresh Hop Ale. This hoppy beer was brewed with fresh citra hops delivered overnight from hop farms in Oregon. We will celebrate the release of Scratch 35 with a firkin on the bar in the Troegs Tasting Room.

Tapping will be at 10 a.m. (or whenever the first customer walks in the bar and orders a pint).We also have a firkin of Pale Ale with Fresh Citra Hops to be tapped as well – as long as we have an enthusiastic crowd!Hope to see you Friday!

09 September 2010

Troegs Scratch # 33 is Out!

TroegsScratch From Troegs:

Starting with a blend of pale malt and wheat along with honey malt – a pale Canadian barley with a distinctive sweet finish – Scratch #33 includes orange peel, coriander, elderflower and honey bush for a subtle fruit balance that complements the pepper zest of Saison du Pont yeast. Following the boil, the wort passed through our hopback (filled with spices) and then began a rapid ferment at a higher than typical temperature for an ale yeast. Following fermentation, Scratch #33 was bottle-conditioned with Westmalle yeast and warm-aged for two weeks to create a vibrant carbonation with an effervescent finish.

Troegs Splinter Blue Release Date

Troegs SPlinter From Troegs:


Splinter Blue will be available at Troegs Brewery on Thurs, Sept 16 starting at 10 am. There is a two-bottle limit per person, and the price is $22.95 for a 750 ml bottle. We have approximately 400 bottles available for sale. As with our last Splinter release we will allow small groups in the brewery for their purchase. We will have a few extra surprises this day as well.

30 July 2010

Troegs Scratch # 32 is Out!

From Troegs:
TroegsScratch SCRATCH BEER #32
O.G.: 14.4
ABV: 5.4%
IBUs: 35
Malt: Pils, Vienna, Caramel
Hops: Northern Brewer, Crystal
Hopback: Crystal, Bravo
Yeast: California Lager
Codename:Keystone Common

02 July 2010

Troegs New Brewery !

TroegsHersheyYes this is a little late…so sue me…I was away on vacation when it arrived last week….
From Ed:

Tröegs to Grow in Central PA with New Hershey Craft Brewery
State-of-the-art Hershey brewing facility will offer visitors one-of-a-kind brewing experience

HARRISBURG, PA – Chris and John Trogner, founders of Tröegs Brewing Company, announced today they have reached an agreement to open a new craft brewery in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Construction on the existing facility, located at 200 E. Hershey Park Drive, will begin immediately with a projected completion date of Fall 2011.

“This is an exciting new chapter for Tröegs Brewery,” said Chris Trogner. “When John and I started planning the brewery in 1995, we didn’t even know if we would ever make it to the actual brewing stage. Since opening in 1997, we have been fortunate to grow the Tröegs brand and increase our distribution into eight states. This new location will allow us to maintain our commitment to Central Pennsylvania and continue pursuing our brewing dreams in a state-of-the-art brewery with an expanded tasting room to give our customers an even greater beer experience.”

“Hershey is a special place, not just for people who call it home, but for the millions who come to visit each year,” said John. “We want to create an experience that compliments the other Hershey attractions, creating an even more vibrant and exciting destination for all visitors,” added Chris.

As part of the new facility, Tröegs Brewery will be installing a new brewhouse, fermenters and a kegging line. Once the new brewery is operational, all equipment will be moved from the Harrisburg plant to Hershey with no interruption to the beer production schedule. “Running two facilities simultaneously will create a series of challenges,” said John Trogner. “But we need to continue producing beer in our current location until the new location is completely operational.”

The Hershey facility will provide a unique brewing experience -- featuring a 5,000 square foot tasting room with the new brewhouse as the focal point of the room. The tasting room will open onto an outdoor seating area. “Visitors in our tasting room will be sitting literally in the middle of the brewhouse, said Chris Trogner. “They will be able to watch our brewers in action.”
When designing the concept for the new brewery, the goal was to make a customer really feel like they are a part of the brewing process. Visitors will be able to watch the brewers in action and take a self-guided tour down a window-lined hallway through the heart of the brewery. The smell of barley and hops will fill the air as the customer gets a glimpse at the fermentation process, packaging room and oak barrel-aging room, and lab. One exciting addition to the layout is the pilot brewing room where experimentation takes place and their famous Scratch beer series is dreamt-up and made. Tröegs will also continue to provide guided tours of the brewhouse on designated days.

“John and I have visited a lot of breweries over the years and we want to create an interactive facility where our customer really gets an understanding of what goes into making quality beer, Chris noted. “We want to showcase what we do best.”

04 June 2010

Troegs Scratch # 31 Citra of Brotherly Love

TroegsScratch From Ed:

Before getting into a description of Scratch 31, we offer a public service announcement from the Troegs brewers:

Beer held at a constant temperature and pressure will absorb a set amount of carbonation. As temperature goes down, it will absorb more, up and it can’t hold as much. So, what happens if a slightly carbonated beer is put in to a sealed barrel and the temperature hits 90+ F?

Scroll down to physics lesson.

As for the beer:
Scratch #31 – IPA
“Our Philly Beer Week Special”
O.G.:               17.8
IBU:                70
ABV:               7.4%
Malt:               Pils, Munich, Caramel
Yeast:             House Ale Yeast
Hops:              Apollo, Citra, Chinook
Dry-hopped: Citra, Cascade
Codename:    Citra of Brotherly Love
For Scratch 31, the brothers and the brewers decided to revisit one of our favorite sweet spots – IPA – and have some fun with hop flavors. Dubbed ‘Citra of Brotherly Love’ in honor of Philly Beer week, Scratch #31 has generous amounts of Apollo, Cascade and Citra hops. This is our first use of Citra hops, which is known for an intense grapefruit aroma and flavor.

While showcasing the intense Citra flavor we added additional bitterness with Apollo and Chinook hops as well. Scratch #31 went through a bed of Chinook hops in the hopback and was dry-hopped with Cascade and Citra hops.

Scratch #31 will be showcased at events throughout Philly Beer Week. Also, be on the lookout for Scratch #31 in firkins and pins, which were aged in new wine barrels for about a week before kegging.

30 May 2010

Troegs Splinter Blue – aka Aged Dreamweaver

The guys at Troegs are bottling up Splinter Blue.  Blue is Dreamweaver Wheat aged in wine barrels with wild yeast and sour cherries.  Check out the video of the bottling from the Troegs Blog.

18 May 2010

Troegs Scratch # 30 NOW Available

TroegsScratch Troegs Scratch # 30, a Maibock beer is now available in the Troegs tasting room.

From Troegs Blog: 

Devotees of the Scratch series know it's been awhile since we've turned out a lager... See More—perhaps too long. Fortunately, Tröegs brewer Jeff Jerman has remedied that with a smooth-drinking Maibock-style brew. Featuring a variety of bready malts, including heaping amounts of Vienna and Biscuit, the Jerman Bock brings to mind the "liquid bread" description usually reserved for the old German monks of lore.
Hopheads need not worry, as we added plenty of Northern Brewer and Tettnang hops in the kettle to give the Jerman Bock a more-than-fair 35 IBUs. Our hopback also got its workout with a big pile of Tettnang hops, lending the brew a leafy edge that nicely balances the brew's malty core. Lovingly lagered for six weeks and coming in at 7% ABV, this brew is smooth but doesn’t go down as easy as a first-round knockout.A Maibock in May? Sounds about right to us. Prost!

07 May 2010

WILK Friday Beerbuzz – 7 May 2010 (Troegs Hopback Amber Ale)

image There is a fine line between excitement and terror, and with today being my very first LIVE radio show, I suspect I flirted with both emotions.  Today marked the premier episode of the “Friday Beerbuzz with Bil from mybeerbuzz.com” (that’s me) on the Webster and Nancy show on WILK News Radio. 

First off a huge thank you to Nancy Kman, John Webster, Sue Henry, Joe Thomas and the others at WILK for making my first show so much fun.  Our segment went very quickly and I suspect that’s a measure of just how much fun I was having and how good they all are at what they do.

There are beers that unite and beers that divide.  My beer-loving friends and I taste dividing beers that polarize our opinions. Some love it some hate it.  My non-beer-loving friends taste dividing beers and exclaim that “beer shouldn’t contain nuts or chocolate.”  So today I chose to feature a beer that unites….Troegs Hopback Amber Ale.  Hopback Amber is a beer that long time craft beer lovers enjoy and a beer that beginning craft-beer lovers also seem to enjoy.  It’s a beer we can all share and all enjoy.
WILKTroegsHopbackShow1Today we talked a lot about Hopback Amber and the Troegs brewery in Harrisburg, PA.  Hopback Amber is this little brother of Troeg’s wildly popular Nugget Nectar seasonal and a wonderful beer that I think flies under the beer-lover’s radar.  Hopback Amber gets it’s name from the brewing device used at the brewery to impart additional hop flavor.  The brewers at Troegs fill a large stainless steel device called, ironically enough, a “Hopback” with hop cones.  As the beer is brewed and the wort comes out of the kettle, it is forced slowly through the hopback on the way to the fermenters.  This process imparts some wonderful hop flavors into the beer, without it becoming a higher IBU (international bittering unit) Imperial Amber Ale or India Pale Ale.  The combination works wonderfully for Hopback Amber and it’s a beverage I recommend you try…and yes as the photo shows our Hopback were “protected” from aliens by their little tin-foil hats.  From left to Right it’s (Princess Leia, the devil, the scorpion, the flying nun, lightning bolt and space helmet hats).

I have a few goals for the future of the Friday Beerbuzz show.  First and foremost I don’t want it to suck, and I’m confident it won’t.  I’d like to create a show that welcomes not only craft-beer lovers, but also people new to craft and micro-brewed beer.  I want to responsibly promote the growth of the craft beer community in Northeastern PA and perhaps most importantly, I want people to laugh and simply have fun.  If we can accomplish this, then I suspect you will enjoy the show as much as I did today.

So let us know what you think.  e-Mail me, Nancy, or John and give us your comments and opinions.  Suggest beers for the show or topics for future shows.  We have a lot of ideas, but we want to create a show that you look forward to hearing every week, and hopefully get some of you to try some of the beers we taste each week.

Thank you all for listening and reading…. 
Bringing Good Beers and Good People Together…


To view the video on WILK click HERE!

26 March 2010

Troegs Splinter Gold – Coming in 2 Years

From the Troegs Blog:

Nearly 3 years ago we purchased some wine barrels from a PA winery and filled 2 of them with our then current scratch beer, Triple. With the addition of brettanomyces and extended barrel aging Splinter Gold was born. This past fall, we filled our van with wine barrels from Allegro Vineyards in York Co. After careful consideration, we have decided to fill most of them with, you guessed it, Triple. The beer was brewed 2 weeks ago. The wine barrels have been prepped. Splinter gold will begin to take shape late next week. Be patient, last time it took nearly two years.

21 March 2010

Troegs Scratch Update

From the Troegs Blog:

Quick update on Scratch #x:

After just over a week of us being forced to draw almost daily samples and (gasp) drink them, we’ve decided the beer is ready to rack.  So far, we have a gold/light-amber pale ale base with nice hop bitterness, spicy-fruit yeast character, and the barrel-aging coming through as oak, hints of vanilla, toast, and tea.

We brewed this with a generous amount of  aroma hops, but noticed that the oak has buried them.  An IPA has to have hops, right?  Even a (not-belgian) IPA.  So, we pulled some flowers out of the cooler, more beer out of the barrels, and spent some time with our noses in both of them.  Going in to it, we thought Hersbrucker might be a good choice, and we were right; the slightly-sweet, grassy (hay?) aroma played nicely with the fruit from the yeast and was a nice contrast to the sharpness of the oak.  We also went with a bit of Willamette, which is often described as herbal and earthy.  We got that, but we also got a bit of lemon that complimented the vanilla from the barrels.

So, long story short, we’re one step closer to getting this beer out the door.  Like Tice said, it’s going to be bottle-conditioned.  So, even though this will probably be bottled in the next week or two, it could still be a month or more of us drinking random bottles to assess the bubbles before it gets to you.  We won’t leave you hanging though.  Look for a Roggenbier in the very near future.  More on that later…

17 March 2010

Troegs to Release NEW Sampler Cases

TroegsAnthology From Troegs.com:

Tröegs has a new variety case called Anthology which replaces our current Troegs Dozen variety case. There will be two versions of Anthology based on the time of the year.

Anthology Series No. 1 will feature Hopback Amber Ale, Tröegs Pale Ale, Dreamweaver Wheat and Sunshine Pils. Sunshine Pils will be part of the Anthology series from April until approximately September.

Anthology Series No. 2 will feature Javahead Stout in place of Sunshine Pils and be available from September until March. Anthology starts shipping in mid-March.

13 March 2010

Troegs – B-Word Pale Ale Scratch Beer

Troegsgoodwood-225x300 From the Troegs Blog:

Don’t know about you, but this recent run of nice weather has me in the mood for a nice, lighter, hoppy beer. No, I’m not talking about Sunshine Pils in this particular case, although I have to say the early-season Pils we brewed for the World Beer Cup is in fine mid-season form. I’ve missed that beer, and I think it’s gonna be a great addition to the Troegs Anthology summer variety pack. Mmm Pils…

Anyway, the pale hoppy beer I’m talking about will be another in our experimental Scratch line-up, this time combining a pale base beer, a healthy amount of earthy/floral hops, an abbey yeast strain, and Pennsylvania oak. Oh, and it’s going to be bottle-conditioned (like most brewers I heart bottle-conditioned Belgian-style ales). Hopefully that’s enough interesting components to whet your beer appetites. I know it’s got me psyched.

Q: How did this all come about? A: Well, we got a hankering for a hoppy Belgian-style pale ale and just recently received a shipment of Bravo hops, which are new to us and arrived in really fresh condition. Also, we just got a bunch of new Pennsylvania oak barrels in, which we’ve been itching to use. Empty barrels in a brewery, the horror! Put all these ingredients together and voila, you’ve got yourself a Scratch beer.

Now for the question everyone wants to know: what’s the timeframe for this batch? We brewed the beer a few weeks ago and racked it into barrels just last week. With fresh oak we’ll get the woody flavors we want pretty quickly, so we have to taste the beer every couple days or so, so we don’t over-wood this batch. Tough work, but that’s why we get the big bucks… As soon as we get the right flavor profile, we’ll take it out of the barrels, allow it to mature in one of our bright beer tanks, where we’ll dry-hop it with more hops. We’ll then dose it with fresh yeast and extra sugar, and package it. If the yeast does it job, we’ll have some effervescently carbonated beer a couple of weeks after that. So basically, we’ll let you know, relatively soonish.

Incidentally, John is adamant that we not call this beer a “Belgian”, which is fair since we don’t brew in Belgium, but I have to say that the B-word is a useful descriptor for beers brewed with that famous handful of yeasts. Anybody who comes up with a better term, hey, let us know. Early tasting confirms that this pale ale is pretty strong, with a bunch of oak character, yeast flavor, and some earthy hops peeking through.  In the finished beer, the wood should also add an an extra, oaky dimension. Like a California chardonnay. Well okay, maybe not that much oak…

P.S. We’ve got yet another Scratch beer a-brewing, but we’ll save that for a later day. I will say that it’s an atypical style, but it should be seasonally appropriate, especially if this warm weather keeps up. It might even be ready before this batch. Cheers!

03 March 2010

Javahead Stout to Replace Rugged Trail Brown Ale

From Troegs.com:

TroegsJavaHeadSTout Tröegs Brewery will be introducing a new year-round beer to our lineup. Javahead Stout started shipping in 12 ounce bottles on March 1, with draft and 22 ounce packages becoming available in late March/early April.

Javahead Stout is based on our original oatmeal stout which was retired several years ago. We have added a blend of coffee beans to this stout which are supplied by St. Thomas Roasters, a Harrisburg-based coffee company. “Javahead Stout was first released last year in 22 ounce bottles and we loved it,” explains Chris Trogner. “We never wanted to discontinue the Oatmeal Stout and it’s nice to have the opportunity to bring a stout into our year-round line-up.”

04 February 2010

Troegs Cacaoabunga! – Scratch # 27 Feb 11th

TroegsCacao Looks like the chocolate-based beer we eluded to a few months ago will be hitting the streets as Scratch # 27.  For the full details…

From Troegs:

A cool recent development around the brewery is that John (the guy with his name on the bottle) has offered to allow us hop monkeys (aka the Troegs brewing team) the chance to create upcoming beers in our Scratch Beer line. For brewers, this is the fun part. The only catch is that John reserved final veto power over any recipe, which is good and bad. Because of that, the world will never see my Imperial Rauch Pumpkin Bock, alas… But we will otherwise be unleashing our creative talents on an unsuspecting public, or at least everyone who finds their way into the tasting room.

For my Scratch brew, #27, I wanted to do something with chocolate. None of us have brewed with chocolate before, so a little research suggested cacao nibs could be a fun way to integrate chocolate in the beer. Randomly, Jason in the tasting room happens to know the right guy at the premium chocolate company, Scharffen Berger, who was able to procure us a large quantity of nibs. Nothing wrong with a little luck now and again. For the recipe, we went with a chocolate malt-heavy stout/porter, gave it some lactose for additional body, added just a touch of citrusy hop, and then passed the beer through a bunch of cacao nibs in the hopback. As a side note, cacao nibs smell terrific, just the freshest and most aromatic chocolate smell you’ll ever find. Everyone in the brewery is a big fan.

As we’ve learned in our intensive chocolate research (OK, mostly eating a lot of expensive chocolate), the bitterness of chocolate is always accompanied by the sweetness of vanilla, so we’re adding a LOT of Ugandan Gold vanilla beans to the aging beer. I’ve spent many hours slicing and scraping vanilla beans for the 40 barrels of stout that we’ve brewed. We’re also aging the beer on even more chocolate nibs in the hopes of getting an over-the-top chocolate aroma and taste in the beer. It’s been a fun experiment so far and hopefully the beer brings some chocolate insanity.

When’s it gonna be ready? Well, we’ve got this one scheduled for a Thursday, February 11 afternoon release in the tasting room. A chocolate beer, right before Valentine’s Day? That’s right, we went there. Would you be interested if I told you we’ll have some firkins dry-nibbed with even more cacao nibs being readied for the release? For those stopping by, there have been rumors of free alcohol-soaking soft pretzels for the event. More details to come, be there or be square.

P.S. Not sure what will happen to the barrel-aged Scratch #26 beer. If we end up liking it, it will come out at some point TBD. If not, I guess it’ll just be our sacrifice to the beer gods…

02 February 2010

Why Troegs Dumped Scratch # 26

TroegsScratch From John: (Be sure to note the mention of the Ticeman’s Cacaobunga Stout (Chocolate Stout) coming out for Valentines Day.

I’ve been getting so many direct tweets and emails, not to mention hecklers in the streets, I thought I would let everyone know why we did it.  When I say “it” I mean the unthinkable Dump of Scratch 26.  It all starts with an empty tank.  Nothing bugs me more than an empty tank.  So even before the Scratch tank opens up we start dreaming up what should go into it.  It usually starts with a list of beers one of us, or all of us crave.  Time of year plays a huge part in this discussion.  We try to stay away from a current seasonal, we want something to add to the mix.  That usually leads the beer in ten directions, the kicker is time.  Sometimes we care about timing sometimes we don’t.  This one needed to be ready in two to three weeks so not to interfere with Ticeman’s Cacaobunga Stout (Chocolate Stout) set for Valentines Day release.  JeffJ happened to mention a ‘Scotch Ale’ more like a Wee Heavy…  Usually we don’t even think about styles, usually it starts with something small like a new hop or some other interesting ingredient.  Then we build around it, like malts that taste good with Bravo Hops or Cluster is great with Rye, or some funky yeast we want to try.  After we have everything lined out someone inevitably asks “what style is it?”  This time we wanted to aim at a target.  When JeffJ mentioned Scotch Ale I instantly flashed back to a beer brewed at the Oasis in Boulder Co.  The “O” took a simple malt bill and with an intensive 1st runnings boil, created an incredibly complex Scotch Ale with a real distinctive caramel backbone.  This was my starting point for 26.  A nice subtle smokey character would be nice, so we searched for peated malt, but couldn’t get it in time.  I thought I wanted to use a funky English yeast strain putting a spin on the underlying yeast flavor. The idea was to use a yeast with a nutty, malty accent to it.  The kicker was if you don’t grow it correctly it can taste like armpit (yeah that’s right) or butterscotch bomb..  Given our short timeline I decided to ditch the English yeast and to  play with it more before using it (basically chickened out).

Brew day rolls around and at first everything looks great.  JeffJ took first runnings into the mash kettle and reduced the heck out of it creating a really deep caramel flavor, perfect for this beer.  The gravity was nice and high somewhere around 23 plato, plenty of food for the yeast.  Well, our house yeast gobbled it up, fast!  That’s where we picked up a slight higher alcohol, solvent aroma; bugged the heck out of me.  The plan was to take a portion of this beer and age it in heavy char oak barrels we had coopered outside Pittsburgh.   They smelled amazing!  If that stinkin alcohol aroma wasn’t there it would have been spot on.  The vanilla, spicy tannic oak flavors really started to round it out nicely.

So, to sum it up when I tasted the beer it was fine, I guess, but I thought “if we are going to do this shouldn’t it be incredible?”  Our beers are based on what we like…for twelve years when I give a tour of the brewery it starts with the idea of building a brewery to keep our taste buds happy.  This one just didn’t live up to my expectation, so we move on and learn from it, hopefully not to revisit this mistake…….ever…



26 January 2010

Troegs Scratch # 26 – Dumped !

TroegsScratch It sounds like Scratch # 26 didn’t come out quite the way it was planned and instead of becoming a regular Scratch beer, much of it was dumped and the barrel-aged portion will become a super-rare low volume brew house beer some time in the future.

From John:

So the point of our Scratch Beer series is to experiment with new styles, techniques, and ingredients, throw some stuff against the wall and see what sticks. Sometimes the beers turn out just like we hoped, like Scratch #4, which became Flying Mouflan (don’t worry, it will be seen again, sometime after we brew a whole lot more Nugget Nectar this year…). And sometimes, as in the case of Scratch #26, it doesn’t quite come out the way we wanted.

As we detailed in an earlier post, we wanted to brew a very caramelized Wee Heavy through an ultra-long wort reduction and kettle boil. Unfortunately, the beer didn’t have the caramel character we wanted, and so we have decided to dump the non barrel-aged portion of the beer. Trust me, even though the brewing team tasted the beer and decided it wasn’t quite up to snuff, it still hurts to dump a pretty good, and quite warming, beer. I feel bad for the billions of yeast cells whose work is now for naught.

On the bright side, we will do something with the barrel-aged beer, which got the thumbs-up from the crew. The wood character is nice, and it is becoming nicely rounded. Tentatively we’ve decided on racking the couple of barrels we have of it and kegging it off for our tasting room. We’ll let you know more about the super-duper-exclusive Scratch #26 as it develops. Till next time.

21 January 2010

Troegs Nugget Nectar 12oz Bottles

TroegsNN Just an update for those hundred or so that have asked.  Twelve ounce Nugget Nectar bottles arrived at Ace late yesterday (1/20).  I’m awaiting some updates as to when we can actually get our grubby little hands on them, but expect to see them very soon.

UPDATE:  Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer HAS 12ox Nugget nectar in stock!


08 January 2010

Troegs Nugget Nectar Firkin – The Keg Has Been Tapped

TroegsNNFirkin1 Here’s your almost live photo of the first ever Troegs Firkin Event courtesy of John as Phil H. taps the first Nugget Nectar Firkin of the year!

06 January 2010

Troegs Nugget Nectar – First Ever Firkin Event

TroegsNuggetNectarNew As rumored by me earlier ;) Troegs will be pouring a firkin of Nugget Nectar on Friday (1/9) in the tasting room starting at 2PM for as long as it lasts (or the end of the day).  They will also have Nugget Nectar draft available for growler fills and YES even 12oz bottles for sale.  Excited yet?!

04 January 2010

Nugget Nectar 2010 – It’s Time

According to John @ Troegs…The 2010 version of Nugget Nectar is now available in bombers from the brewery!  This photo is actually from John’s TweetPhoto.  Expect to see the 12oz cases finding their way in limited quantites to NEPA in about 2 or 3 weeks.