The sole goal of this post is to start some discussion. As we enter our seventh week of state wide quarantine here in Pennsylvania, beer culture has been radically changed. The days of visiting and spending an afternoon at a local brewery with some friends are out the window for the time being. When was the last time you spent casually perusing the craft beer selection at your favorite bottle shop?
In this new reality, breweries have had to adapt fast. Take-out and curbside options are essential for those trying to get their goods into the hands of their local hop heads. So what makes for the peak quarantine beer experience? I can’t answer that as options are somewhat limited by necessity during this time. I can’t tell you if New Glarus is changing the game out in Wisconsin. What I can tell you is that Troeg’s is once again leading the pack in efficiency and experience here in Central PA.
Last week my fiance and I took the time out of our busy schedule (ha) to pay a visit to the brewery in Hershey. Ordering was super easy on their website, where in addition to beer, they also offer several dishes from their snack bar including the make at home pizza kits that we purchased. Be sure to give one of these a whirl as the sourdough crust tastes amazing and is hard to mess up for any pizza tossing neophyte. At any rate an hour after ordering we pulled into the usually crowded Troegs parking lot and saw the ten different stalls they have available. Picking up was simple. Back up into the stall of your choice, pop the trunk, then give them a call and a worker will run out and put the delivery directly in there. We were blown away by the execution. In a world where contact-less delivery has become the new norm, Troegs is diving in headfirst. I’m not sure if Chik Fil A could do it better.
As for the beer itself, I opted for a case of their 2020 Summer Anthology. During a time when the days can be monotonous, a variety pack can keep you sane. I am already familiar with the beers which include the newest Haze Charmer, a dry-hopped hazy pale ale that Troegs refuses to call a New England IPA, as well as older standbys Field Study IPA, Sunshine Pilsner, and their sales juggernaut Perpetual IPA. As the weather turns, these beers are all a perfect pairing for days mowing grass and grilling. Sunshine Pilsner in particular, a beer that I have at least overlooked as a “boring” choice, is much better than I remembered with a crisp and balanced flavor.
Have any of our friends and readers had great experiences with any of the other local or not so local breweries out there during this time? If so feel free to give a shout out in the comments!