Rendering of Troegs New Brewery — Photo courtesy of Troegs Brewing Co.
Anyone who’s ever lined up to buy a six-pack of Mad Elf or bragged that Troegenator is their favorite dark session beer is someone who should be among the first visitors to the new-and-improved Troegs Brewing Company in Hershey, PA. Though the new facility is still a decent drive from Philly (90 minutes west of the city on the PA turnpike), this building is closer than the former one in Harrisburg and has better visiting hours, to boot.
Open every day but Sunday, the 90,000 square-foot brewery is a place to learn about the brewing process and sample the award-winning brewers’ products – from the most rare to the most popular. Sit in the 5,000 square-foot tasting room or on the three-season patio and sip a Dream Weaver or Nugget Nectar from a pint available for purchase. As you relax, watch brewers hard at work on their new equipment that produces an impressive 100 barrels of beer at a time (that’s 3100 gallons for those of you more familiar with buying milk than large quantities of beer). Hours are Monday – Wednesday 11am - 7pm, Thursday -Saturday 11am - 8pm.
Tanks on View on Self-Guided Tour — Photo courtesy of Troegs Brewing Co.
Once you’ve lubricated your parched esophagus, order another pint to bring along on a free self-guided tour through the entire brewhouse. Walk at your own pace and read as much or as little of the explanatory panels as you wish as you wind through the brewery, stopping to get an understanding of what happens at each stage. You’ll see the machinations inside the fermentation/filtration hall, the quality lab, the barrel aging room, the kegging and bottling lines, and the “Scratch Beer” brewhouse, the pilot brewery where experimental styles are concocted. Beginning in early 2012, you’ll have the opportunity to reserve a spot on an in-depth guided tour; until then, don’t hesitate to pull aside a brewer or tasting room employee to ask about anything you’d like more information about.
If you fall in love with a particular style (and we bet a case of Mad Elf that you will), visit the automated growler station to fill up a glass container – called a “growler” – with fresh beer to take home. Sadly, the beer will only last for a few weeks after the date you fill it (and 24 hours after you open it) so you may want to bring home a souvenir that will keep a little longer. For this, swing by the general store on your way out. There you’ll find bottles of Troegs products (ask the clerk which ones are capable of being cellar-aged like wine), T-shirts, bottle openers and every other manner of fun beer souvenir to make your visit last long after you get home.
200 East Hershey Park Drive
Hershey, PA 17033