We at Narbrew have always been huge fans of Troegs Brewery. In fact, our annual Christmas bashtacular is themed around enjoying their Mad Elf Ale. Harrisburg has been Troegs home for 14 years, a convenient ten minute drive from our hometown in central PA. This past year however, they’ve upgraded and moved their production to a brand new facility in Hershey, PA. While disappointed that my regular trek to Troegs will now gain an additional 40 minutes to the roundtrip, I am happy to see one of my favorite beer makers evolve. This Thanksgiving weekend my family and I traveled to Troegs to taste and tour.
The brand new facility, while almost undetectable from the road, has a beautiful new building front sporting a Troegs logo above the doorway. Beyond the Nugget Nectar-decorated front lobby you have the option to enter either a tasting room or a gift shop. I recommend the tasting room, shopping sober means you’ll never leave with any of the swag you really want. Should you start at the sampling room you’ll find a wide open bar set with a variety of year-round Troegs taps as well as a few scratch beers so you can try the experimental batches that might lead to your next favorite. Behind the bar is a wide open look at the brew house including a giant Mash Tun, Lauter Tun, Pre Run, and Brew Kettle. We were lucky enough to catch the brewers as they were adding about four trashcans worth of fresh whole hops. I was told by John Trogner, Chris and John’s father, that the hop aroma fills the entire 5,000 sq ft tasting room.
I ordered their T2 Ale, named after the new building “T2”, and started exploring the connected brewhouse. Only a self-guided tour is available at this point, but it was very thorough and educated everyone about every stage of brewing through graphical interpretations of the process. Eventually guided tours will resume similar to the Harrisburg facility, although these seem like they will be much more comprehensive in the new location. With three times the amount of space as the first brewery, Troegs has now been able to increase their production to 60,000 barrels a year and potentially 150,000 barrels a year once their 90,000 sq ft facility is at full capacity. This upgrade signifies an escalating interest in not just Troeg’s, but in both local beer and craft beer in general.
I highly recommend taking a trip to Troegs glorious new brew haven when you get a chance. Maybe plan it with a visit to neighboring Hershey Park or Hershey outlets which are right around the corner. You might want to wait until the new year when the guided tours are up and running.