These months are flying by so fast; I can’t believe it is already June! I recently celebrated my 6-month anniversary at my now not-so-new job. It has also been nearly a month since I graduated with my MBA. Wow.
Since plans fell through to get away for my graduation weekend on account of the rain, Steve and I decided to take day trips to a few local breweries a few weekends ago, a “bucket list” item that we’ve had for some time. We had fun visiting the Slyfox Beer and Victory Beer brew pubs on Saturday, and on Sunday took a trip to Hershey, PA, to visit Tröegs Independent Brewing.
I’m generally partial to stouts, porters, and Belgians but don’t necessarily discriminate when it comes to having an opportunity to try different things. I was in luck because all three breweries offered 3-4oz sample pours in tasting glasses. Visitors are allowed to pick from pretty much anything on draft and each brewpub had 12+ taps running at a time, making it a difficult decision to choose which ones to sample. Fortunately, each set of samples—ranging from 3 to 6 samples per set, depending on the place—cost in the ballpark of $6-8, so it is affordable to try a few different things. Victory even served its samples in a cool-little carrier with its logo laser cut on the metal.
Two of my favorites to sample that we ended up taking home from Tröegs were the (717) Collaboration Ale, which we filled in one of the cool growlers that they have to buy from the store, and the Imperial Amber Ale, sold in a 6-pack at the store.
As the name would imply, the 717 is a collaboration between three breweries (Tröegs, Appalachian Brewing Company, and Pizza Boy Brewing Company) that features four different kinds of hops to give it a complex, citrusy-piney taste. I can go either way when it comes to ultra-hoppy beers. Some, to me, taste like chewing on a pine tree. I really liked this one, though. It is only available once a year on draft at the brewpub, otherwise I could see myself buying it often. The Imperial Amber I think they mentioned may become a more widespread release later this year. This one has a sweet, malty- and toffy-like taste to it.
We also had the opportunity to take a tour while on our visit to Tröegs to get a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing and bottling processes. The brewery recently got a new batch of reconditioned oak barrels from a local vineyard—some of which I believe will be used in upcoming Scratch Series beers, limited releases that the brewery has on draft at its brewpub and in bottles.
Breweries and distilleries are seemingly popping up all over the place. Next up on our list of places to visit will likely be venturing into Philadelphia and New Jersey to Yards, Flying Fish, and River Horse, but we’re always looking for new places to try. If you have any recommendations for good places to visit in the area, let me know!