Friday, September 7, 2007

Beer Travel: Troeg's Brewery

OK, I'll write this up even though I lost all the damn pictures I took during my visit to the brewery! Argh!

Anyhow, this past weekend (September 1) I was passing through Harrisburg and went to tour the Troeg's brewery as well as to fill up my old Troeg's growler with some tasty beverage. I arrived about 15 minutes early for the tour but they were serving free samples so I decided to partake. The first beer I tried was a very spicy tripel they had brewed called Scratch Beer #3. It clocks in at 10% ABV and showed it a bit in the taste but a very nice tripel for sure. Also sampled some of their new fall seasonal, a porter named Dead Reckoning. Very hoppy for a porter! I ended up filling my growler with that beer so more on that at a later date.

Chris Troeg, one of the two brothers who are the brewery's namesake, gave the tour and it was fairly informative without getting too technical and going over the heads of the non-beer geek crowd. What was interesting to me is how small Troegs still is. You see their beers all over Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania so you get the impression that they would be a bigger operation. Their bottling line in downright tiny!

Anyway, it was a typical brewery tour. They are building some new, bigger fermenters and looking to expand a bit. The most unusual part of the tour is that when it was done, Chris let us basically have the run of the place so we could take a look around. It was then that I found (where the new fermenters were going to be located) several new oak barrels with names of beers scrawled in chalk. There was the name of a beer and then a date (ex: Naked Elf 071407) I did not know that Troegs barrel aged any of their beers so it was quite a surprise to find these.

On my way out, I was paying for my growler and Chris was nearby and I asked him if they were releasing any oak aged beers in the future. He said that no they weren't and that those barrels were holding beer that was being treated with wild yeasts as an experiment. You mean like brett is being added? Yes, he replied. Cool.

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