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.”