Tröegs Brewing Company was founded in 1997. The company’s main brewery, located within a short distance from Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, first operated in Harrisburg in 1996 before relocating to Hershey in 2011. Tröegs isn’t the area’s oldest brewery but the 23-year-old company has a solid reputation among beer fans.
If you only have time to visit one of the local breweries in Hershey or Harrisburg, it has to be Tröegs Brewery in Hershey. Tröegs, known for their bold and experimental beers on the East Coast, welcomes you to sample the key brews, try the special edition ales, and peer behind the curtain of the production line.
It’s a decent American IPA that falls squarely in the middle of the pack for the style. You can’t go wrong with this one, however, you might have a hard time selecting it out of a very talented throng. This IPA offers delicate herbaceous flavors that may have been overshadowed by its placement in the review lineup. You’ll love the fruit flavor in this beer and how well it blends from start to finish.
Tröegs uses the Scratch Beer Series to experiment with novel flavors, ingredients, equipment, and brewing procedures and has produced over 350 variants so far. Many of Tröegs’ distinctive brews began in the scratch tanks and were progressed to wider release after receiving wonderful feedback from brewery visitors and employees. Tröegs’ die-hard brew fans will remember a numbered Scratch Beer that they still fantasize about long after the keg runs dry.
When you visit the brewery, try a few limited-edition scratch concoctions; you may be sampling the first version of their next flagship beverage.
The Snack Bar
When you read their excellent artisan products, the sign over their craft kitchen states SNACK BAR, an unrealistic nickname. Menu items at the Snack Bar are all from scratch and seasonal produce, in keeping with the brewery’s devotion to local beer ingredients. Shareables such as rosemary Popcorn, an Oktoberfest Pretzel, or a Charcuterie Plate are available, as are small and big chef’s specialties such as Lamb Meatballs, a Duck Confit sandwich, or Mussels.
There’s something about a craft beer and the snacks that go with it that elevates the overall brewery experience. Tröegs serves brunch on Sundays, with hearty weekly specialties like breakfast pizza, house-made scrapple, and biscuits and gravy.
What’s so special about Tröegs?
When you witness where Tröegs beer is from, you’ll have a new understanding of Tröegs’ history. Their ideal facility on Hersheypark Drive, just down the road from Hershey’s roller coasters, invites half a million tourists a year for tastings, tours, and beer lovers. Tröegs, like many good origin stories, began with a small brewing company where they acquired a dedicated following and gained success.
Some people get their best ideas when drinking a cool brew, and the beer brand itself may occasionally be a source of inspiration. Tröegs asked its fans to use their beer as a muse to create art — drawings, sculptures, bottle-cap art – for the Art of Tröegs competition. While you’re waiting for the guided tour to begin, check out some of these pieces at their brewery.
What to Try?
Tröegs pays homage to the hop growing cycle with four inspired, hoppy ales that take center stage each season: First Cut Mango IPA, Field Study IPA, Hop Knife IPA, and Blizzard of Hops Winter IPA, each of which is a perfect-balance brew that uses the best qualities of the hops at different times of the year. Similarly, Tröegs offers a range of elusive beers that are tougher to obtain because they are only available once a year, and sometimes just for a month.
Tröegs Brewery’s famed holiday-inspired brew, Mad Elf, placed them on the map by encapsulating all the tastes of the season – cherries, honey, and chocolate with hints of cocoa, cinnamon, clove, and spices – in an 11 percent ABV ruby red cup of Christmas cheer. Nugget Nectar, an Imperial Amber Ale with mango and creamsicle aromas from super-fresh Simcoe hops, is the first batch of the brewing season. It clocks in at a remarkable 93 IBUs. It’s only a matter of time before you’re a Tröegs superfan, arranging your picnics around which of their beers you can bring in the cooler.
The Tröegs Tour
Tröegs’ Guided Production Tour, named one of the top five brewery tours in the country by USA Today, brings guests behind the scenes of the brewery. It begins with the hops and progresses to the brewhouse deck, which overlooks the tasting area, the fermentation cellar, and the packing lines. Peek inside the tanks, take a drink of fermented and finished Tröegs favorites, and hold whole-flower hops in your hand.
The tour costs $10, but your 45-minute brew journey includes a welcoming drink and a commemorative glass that is exclusively available to tour participants! The guided tours are quite popular, therefore I advise that you schedule your tour slot ahead of time!
If you plan to visit Tröegs…
Tröegs Brewery may get quite full in the evenings and on most weekends, with both visitors and locals congregating. Try a weekday or early in the day on Saturdays and Sundays for a leisurely visit. Make a reservation for your guided brewery tour ahead of time. And if you’re bringing a group, try to carpool because parking is limited.
Save some money for their General Store, which is full of Tröegs merchandise like shirts, hats, glasses, bar equipment, artisanal beer soaps, cases to-go, and repurposed factory shirts. Troegs is also one of the most Instagrammed locations in the region!
Visitors to Tröegs are in a hurry to get a glass of beer and take the Self-Guided Tour of the brewery’s hub. Peek inside the quality lab (hey, beer is both a science and art! ), see the barrel-aging area, and observe the filling, capping, and packing the bottles of your favorite brews. It’s amazing!
Tröegs was formed when Chris and John Trogner joined their surname with kroeg, the Flemish term for a tavern. If that left you with more questions than answers, Flemish is a Dutch language dialect spoken in Belgium. And Belgian beer is delicious. Everything makes sense!
Tröegs Independent Brewing’s owners, brothers Chris and John Trogner. Created their dream brewery in Hershey to simplify the production of a distinctive line of beers. And also having the capacity and means to produce unique brews. If they can imagine anything, they can make it! When you give two creative brewmasters the resources they need to experiment and innovate, you get bold beers that win over beer fans in droves.