Sadly, yesterday, was my first time getting to use the curbside to-go feature from Troegs Brewing in Hershey. I had been wanting to use it nearly daily since opening, but unable to actually do it. All of the food has looked amazing, and I have heard absolutely nothing but amazing things about their pizzas; from D. Scott, J. Miller, and A. Parys, all recommending the pizzas. In fact, you can read A. Parys’ article about their excellent curbside to-go and why it makes Troegs Brewing a fantastic quarantine brewery: “What Makes a Great Quarantine Brewery?“.
I have been wanting to stop in and get all of their various scratch beers, and sadly, this has been my first scratch beer since Scratch 404. So yea, needless to say, I’ve missed out on quite a few scratch beers, something that would not have happened pre-coronavirus / COVID-19. One of my favorite things was to stop in at the Troegs Brewery and get a flight of 3-4 different scratch offerings and sample them while reading and check them off. And they have been putting out some stellar scratch offerings during this lockdown / quarantine too. Scratch 406 looked great – a sweet coffee milk stout; a style I love, and then scratches 409, 410, 411, 412, 414, 414, and 416 were all various styles of hazy IPAs and DIPAs. New England IPAs or DIPAs and all sorts. Unfortunately, they all sold out super fast on their ordering website and I never got to try any of those. (Hint hint if anyone has any still in their fridge and would be willing to part with them…. hint… hint…..). The biggest reason for their quick sell-out was that most of these were done on their new, small, innovative 15-barrell system for R&D (research and development), and having to can them up into 4-packs quickly depleted the stash, especially since crowlers, and 4pack cans have been the only way to get new (scratch) beer releases from the brewery. So, sadly, it just wasn’t meant to be. BUT, I have remedied that now, and picked up a 4 pack of Scratch 417 and a 4 pack of Scratch 415 (the two available scratches yesterday).
Their curbside to go was extremely simple, straight forward and easy. Sign onto their website, order what you want, the amount, etc, and even place the tip in their ordering cart. Wait for your notification e-mails, and you would get follow up e-mails and / or texts alerting you when the stuff was ready (super quick for just four packs). They recommended waiting thirty minutes from the time you order, and let you pick that as a pickup time, but I got e-mails within five minutes saying my stuff was ready. From there its still super simple, drive to the location, park in front of the building (in the handicap spots right outside their doors). Each spot has a number, you bring up their website at Troegs – Pickup, put where you are (what spot number), and if you are getting beer, food, or a combination. Select if you want it put into your vehicle, or just left outside. And soon a delivery guy (or gal) will come out, drop off the product, you flash them your driver’s license or ID and once you’re clear, everything is good to go.
Its super simple, and I can’t recommend it enough. To be honest, I have had zero issues from any of the places I have stopped at for beer. I have mostly gotten beer from Tattered Flag, Boneshire Brew Works, Ever Grain Brewing, and Pizza Boy during this ordeal. I have had zero issues with any of them. I also stopped at Twisted Bine yesterday (had to go back out to Ming’s place in Mount Joy to pick up my wallet since I left it in his car after Wednesday’s excursion to Ephrata). They were simple and pleasant as well. Wednesday, we were at St. Boniface and that was also quick and easy. I have also been to Four Score Beerco and that has also been easy and pleasant. So, like I’ve said, the breweries and independent distilleries (like Tattered Flag) have all been wonderful and fantastic during this ordeal. And gladly, Troegs was no exception. My friend J. Miller even said he’s been doing curbside to-go from Troegs weekly / near weekly, and they seem to have been doing a steady business when I was there.
Now starting today, June 5th, many breweries are offering outdoor seating available. At midnight Pizza Boy re-opened for outdoor seating. Today at noon, Boneshire Brew Works is opening their outdoor seating as well. I would have loved to have stopped out at midnight at Pizza Boy to see how it went, but unfortunately with already having started drinking yesterday, and watching my friends D. Scott and Esty do their Knights of Nostalgia video, it got late enough and I was tired enough that it was just not gonna happen. Definitely check that page out, as Drew (D. Scott) has been doing some great live-streams of old video games, and I’m even featured on a few, as well as other friends like R. Dibeler, Esty, etc.
Speaking of those guys, we will be doing a new podcast soon (finally, I know), which will be about time travel. So make sure to be on the lookout for that, you can catch our podcasts at: So a Mexican and a Scot Walk Into a Bar… I always make sure to talk craft beer while we also discuss whatever pop culture we are doing on that video. Always a good time.
Getting back to beer, I had originally wanted to grab the Troegs Scratch beer that supported essential workers and hospitality and hospital staff. I believe it was Scratch 413. For some reason on Untappd none of the scratches say so in their descriptions, and a Google Search didn’t turn up any definitive answers. But I did get two news articles on it: Troegs Next Scratch Beer Will Benefit Hospitality Workers and Newsbreak – Troegs Next Beer To Help Out. I had originally tried to get this to do a review, and discuss how they are helping out their community, but sadly, it was not to be. But still, I wanted to point out how they did make a beer to benefit and help out their community. So let it be known, I have said it, and stated it, and pointed it out.
Now, with all this out of the way, lets get to the actual beer review!
Beer: Scratch 417 – Orange – Lemon Peel IPA
Brewery: Troegs Independent Brewing
Style: IPA – Imperial / Double
IBU: None Listed
Untappd Description: Our Scratch brewers are at it again, this time working toward a new beer for our lineup. Scratch #417 is built on a base of pilsner malt, Munich malt and oats and fermented with HotHead Kveik yeast. The honey, orange peel and lemon peel notes of the yeast are amplified by the Lotus, Simcoe and Mandarina Bavaria hops. Additions of lemon peel and orange peel complete the recipe and deliver a refreshingly soft and citrusy IPA with low bitterness. We taste: refreshing citrus, orange and lemon rind, hint of hone.
From appearance, to aroma, to taste, this is very orange. My Untappd check-in for this beer was simple, and direct, if not a bit dirty: “if hops, oranges, and lemons had a three way – this would be their baby”. (Now, once you get the image out of your head, and have a sip of this, you’ll probably agree). (…Ok, take another sip to try and get the image out of your head… oh crap, its stuck in there isn’t it? Oh well, sorry… Happy Friday!)
Lets start off with the appearance, this looks a bit hazy, but not truly fully hazy like some of those recent scratch offerings (that I didn’t get to try, but have only seen, cue crying). This is very bright and very orange. It had a wonderful light foamy head when poured from the can, and it left a little lacing, not much, but some. The bubbles on top were dispersed and random. It was not transparent or see through, and no sediment or floaters, just a bright orange beer, even glowing somewhat when the light hit it.
Once again, aroma is just like appearance, orange. Keyword – orange. Orange smell, orange appearance, orange hue, orange taste. Pretty much the word orange can just sum up this entire thing. But you do get notes of citrus forward hops, and a bit of a zest and lemon nose to this though much fainter with the orange taking precedence. If you are a fan of orange, especially citrusy orange, this is just a wonderful smelling beer.
Taste…. once again, can I lead off with saying… orange? Very heavy orange. Its also not just straight orange, but a varied and interesting orange taste. You have mandarin oranges, regular oranges, some zest to it all, and all kinds of other things kicking around at the same time. There is strong lemon on the back-end, that provides for a great zesty kick. The honey subdues things a bit and makes this soft and easy drinking. There is really zero IPA burn, no hop bitterness, just a juicy, flowing, smooth drink. Thats why this is probably closer to a NE-IPA / NE-DIPA than a regular IPA / DIPA; there is no real west coast style feel to this. Its juicy, its dank, its smooth, no bitterness, not overly sweet, just fruity and smooth and clean drinking. The 8% is super subtle and hidden (honestly didn’t even feel like I got buzzed on just one of these and I couldn’t have guessed what the ABV was until I looked it up now for the review, I would have probably said 5-6.5% if I had to have made a guess while drinking). The hops used in this are: Lotus, Simcoe, and Mandarina Bavaria; which all work wonderfully in conjunction with the other flavors (notably the orange and lemon peel). They are citrus forward hops, and fruity hops, so it really gives this just an outright zesty, citrusy, fruity taste all around with the orange (obviously) taking prominence. The Kveik yeast adds to this as well, and it all just seems to work so strongly together. Everything in conjunction with each other to sum up into a really well, tasty, delicious, and smooth beer. This would be wonderful as a regular. And it will be interesting to see with all of their recent variations of hazy IPAs and DIPAs, where they are going with these; especially with this year’s release of Haze Charmer, a hazy pale ale. Seems Troegs is finally getting on the bandwagon of hazy and juicy IPAs, pale ales, DIPAs, and possibly even TIPAs; moving themselves into the market of New England style IPAs (at last). Should be interesting to see where they go with all of these. The Scratch 413 (that I missed), is labelled as “Hazy IPA #5” on Untappd, and this being the next IPA they released, it is also juicy and New England styled and a bit hazy (albeit nothing like a true New England Hazy IPA). Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing what their future offerings have in store; especially as we start moving back to where we can enjoy beers again at the brewery. I personally can’t wait!
My Untappd Rating: ****
Global Untappd Rating: 3.85 (as of 6.5.20; interestingly, when I first opened the Untappd page for the beer review at 9AM, it didn’t have a global rating since there wasn’t enough data, but when I refreshed it at 10:10AM, it listed the global average, so the site / app must have updated itself sometime in that time frame).
Looking for other Troegs Brewing beer reviews here on The Beer Thrillers? Check these out:
* Fuzzy Nudge
* Coco-Nator: Scratch 375
* Haze Charmer
* Scratch 400
* Scratch 394
* Scratch 395
* Mad Elf
* Scratch 396
* Fresh Fest
* Trail Day Pale Ale
* Scratch 385
* Scratch 386
* Scratch 382
* Dear Peter
* Scratch 383
* Naked Elf
* Scratch 376
* Scratch 377
* Scratch 378
* Scratch 379
You can also check out our IPA list article: Hoppy Easter – IPAs from The Beer Thrillers.
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Soon we’ll all be in Green Phase, and soon after that we will be out of this and out drinking and hanging out, just like ‘the old times’. I do have a bit of sad news, that I saw this while just about finishing up this article – Lititz Brewfest has announced that they are cancelling the Lititz Brewfest for 2020; which is incredibly disheartening, as its one of my absolute favorite brewfests. So, this probably doesn’t bode well for the AC Brewfest which was looking at possibly happening in August, as well as the Prototype Invitational – also scheduled for August, and the Mount Hope RenFaire Brewfest which I believe was eyeing up September. But who knows, fingers crossed. Still also holding out hope for Ffej of July 2020, (Ffej of July 18), which is scheduled for July 11th. Fingers, toes, eyes and… nose… crossed.
Cheers everyone, be careful and safe out there. Don’t get lax just because we can drink outside together (somewhat) again. In due time we will all be able to go about like before. Just hang in there!