Get a Grip on Nugget Nectar with First Squeeze!

Did you get your First Squeeze of Nugget Nectar yet? Our first week of events was a success! Check out some great pics from our inaugural event at Kite & Key in Philly. Chris and John hand-delivered an hours-young keg of Nugget from the brewery and were also on-hand to tap a fresh firkin at the bar with the Philly Beer Week Hammer of Glory.

 

If you haven’t had your share of Nugget yet … don’t worry! You still have plenty of opportunities in the coming weeks. Check out our complete list of First Squeeze Events to find out when we’ll be in your neck of the woods.

Chef Christian’s obsession with pork

Our very own Chef Christian once said that if pigs had wings, could lay eggs, and could be milked, there’d be no need for any another animal.

Chef loves pork, so he was more than happy to share one of his favorite recipes on Tuesday for “Pork Day,” part of the PA Preferred “Farm to Fork” event at the Farm Show – Smoked Pork Belly with a Potato Pancake, Braised Red Cabbage, and a Hard Cider Glaze. Hungry yet?

Pork belly has been a mainstay on our Snack Bar menu, and Chef keeps our customers intrigued by altering this popular dish to coincide with the change of the seasons. Check out his detailed recipe below to re-create this delicious dish at home. Or, if you don’t have the patience to cure a pork belly for three days, stop by our brunch this Sunday and let Chef do all the work.

Smoked Pork Belly with a Potato Pancake, Braised Red Cabbage, and a Hard Cider Glaze

Yields 4 servings

Pork Belly with a Hard Cider Glaze

Curing ingredients:

1 lb. skinless pork belly

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup salt

½ tsp. pink curing salt

1 tsp. clove ground

2 cups apple sauce

Pinch of cinnamon

Braising broth:

1 bottle Troegenator beer

3 cups apple cider

3 apples, halved and seared till black on flesh side

1 onion, diced

1 knuckle ginger – drop in whole

Bouquet garni – sprig of rosemary, sprig of thyme, parsley stem, peppercorn, bay leaf

Place the pork belly in a plastic ziploc bag. Combine the curing ingredients to form a paste. Add the paste to the belly in the bag, seal trying to remove the air. Work the paste around the belly evenly. Place the belly between two trays and weight it down with a #10 can, or a heavy object, in the walk-in cooler for three days.

Remove the belly from the bag. Rinse and pat dry. Cold smoke for one hour. – if you don’t have an electric or wood smoker, this step can be skipped

Place the belly in a braising pan and top with the braising broth – see recipe for broth above. Top with the remaining ingredients (apples, onion, ginger, bouquet) wrap with plastic wrap, then foil. Braise in an oven at 300 degrees for 2 hours. Cool. Strain the liquid and reduce until nappe – coats the back of a spoon.

Portion the belly into 4 even portions. Deep fry for service. Heat enough oil to cover belly to 350 degrees and fry belly for 5 minutes.

 

Potato Pancake

1 large Yukon gold potato, cooked until soft and mashed (or riced)

2 eggs

4 oz. milk

1 shallot, minced

1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 ½ cups flour, more as needed

1 heavy pinch salt

1tsp. turmeric

 

Combine all the dry ingredients, aerate – mix thoroughly. Whisk in one egg and the milk, then whisk in the potato and second egg. Add the shallot and horseradish. Whisk together and check the consistency. If it is not thick enough, add more flour while whisking. The finished consistency should be similar to that of mashed potatoes. Cook in saute pan like any other pancake.

Braised red cabbage

½ red cabbage, julienned

1 onion, sliced

1 pinch caraway seeds

1 cup red wine vinegar

2 cups chicken stock

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup molasses

Combine all the ingredients. Place in a braising pan, covered with film and aluminum foil. Bake at 300F for 2 hours. Cool and store. Serve this warm on top of finished potato cake.

Place pancake on the plate, top with cabbage, then belly. Finish with sauce.

Nugget Nectar: First Squeeze

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Nugget Nectar is here! Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Lehigh Valley get their first squeeze of Nugget starting today, and we’ll continue the roll-out of our annual favorite across all our markets as follows:

January 18 – Western PA and NEPA
January 25 – DC, MD and NJ
February 1 – CT, DE, OH, MA, NC, NY and VA

Be sure to check out one of our First Squeeze events in your area. Our brewery reps are hosting Nugget Nectar first tapping events in all of our major markets, and we’ve got tons of cool swag to giveaway at each event, including art prints, pint glasses, and bottle openers featuring our new Nugget Nectar artwork.

It’s impossible to forget your first squeeze. Once a year, as the newest humulus lupulus harvest arrives at Tröegs, we blend these super-fresh hops into an Imperial Amber Ale. Excessively dry-hopped, Nugget Nectar is an explosion of pine, resin and mango.

Brewery Update from Chris and John

JANUARY 5, 2016

Like wood-aged beers? You’ll love our new Splinter Cellar!

It’s been said before, but we continually evolve. It might have been on a less-visible stage during our early days in Harrisburg, but the changes in the four years we’ve been in Hershey are dramatic. We continue to search for and work with like minds who share our vision, and we’re excited to be hooking up with some old friends on a new building project.

Collaborating with Dave Maule Architects and Pyramid Construction on the Hershey build four years ago was an intense project. Even though we were under tight time constraints, we found two partners who shared our vision on a large-scale custom project requiring mountains of detail work and the ability to switch gears on the fly; their efforts speak for themselves.

This new collaboration, called the Splinter Cellar, will create a dynamic area that adds needed fermentation space for wood-aged specialty beers and serves as the new entrance for our behind-the-scenes guided tours. The room will feature glass exterior walls on the northeast side of the brewery, and three wooden fermenters (called foeders) that stand more than 23 feet tall.

We’ve been making wood-aged beers in oak barrels almost as long as we’ve been brewing Scratch beers. Our first project, Splinter Gold (2009 release), used Scratch #3 as the base beer; since then we’ve released other Splinter beers periodically. About eight months ago, we installed three smaller foeders to ramp up the program. Our first large volume Splinter project features Mad Elf aged with more than 600 pounds of Balaton cherries we sourced from Peters Orchard in Adams County. The progress on this beer (soon to be known as Wild Elf) has been so promising we want keep it going and the Splinter Cellar will give us that opportunity.

Along with the Splinter Cellar, we’ll be moving our offices to another part of the brewery to give our growing team a little wiggle room.

Finally, we’re excited about some additional exterior changes. We’ll be building a courtyard and a greenspace that runs along the building to create a dedicated pedestrian path separate from the parking area, and we will begin work on the parking lot upgrades with a long-term goal of increasing parking spaces. We’re looking forward to bringing this space to life, and then, we’ll tackle whatever comes next.

Photography By:  Hartman Benzon Media

Deer Creek Malt trip

We have a tendency when traveling to check out places that make something we’re interested in… each time we do, it usually sparks inspiration.

One of my deepest memories is going to my buddy Will’s goat farm. I grew up with this guy and we took similar paths… he also started in the corporate world, found his passion for cheese making and eventually quit his day job, bought a farm, put in some goats and eventually figured out how to make kick-ass goat cheese.

When you roll into Will’s farm, the smell of the grasses sets the backdrop. Getting out of the car, you start to pickup hints of goat… oh, and that can be robust! Then as you walk the farm, pet the goats and – in my case milk one of them – those sounds, sights and aromas sink in pretty deep. Later when sampling the different cheeses from his farm, all of those memories come rushing back to me… it’s pretty cool.

That’s very similar to my trip to Deer Creek Malthouse. Pulling into the old farm and up the dirt road, the smell of the fields set the back drop. After meeting Josh and Mark, I found they shared the similar story of ‘left my day job to follow a dream of growing local grains and use old school malting methods to create interesting malts for brewers to get creative with.’

I can dig that… I thought it was cool to see the floor malting and interesting to see how they cleaned and prepped the malt for kilning; and really cool how they designed and built a custom kiln out of an old shipping container (something I have thought of doing on more than one occasion). But what really connected with me was how they were working with Penn State University on identifying grain varieties that could be grown in our backyard that would be good for the farmer, maltster and the brewer… I’m on board with that.

While geeking out on malt, we started daydreaming of how to use what they are making. In passing, I mentioned that I liked one of their malts in particular but was hoping they could kiln it a little longer for deeper flavor. And with that, Double Dutch was born.

Now we can unveil it with Scratch #217.

Cheers!

-johnt

 

 

 

Master stock “snack bar”

 

Credit China with developing the master stock. What most likely started as a matter of survival, over time morphed into a rich, complex liquid gold that has served as the bedrock of Chinese cuisine for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

For me, master stock started a little closer to home – my parents’ kitchen. The memory smell of dad’s turkey carcass boiling with herbs and aromatics ….mmm mouth watering.  Those aromas take me to a  comfortable  zone and with Turkey Day around the corner one thing on my to do list is load up on essentials  for yup you guessed it…’turkey stock’.  I’m pretty sure our house won’t be the only one, but I can’t get enough of the rich smell and I look forward to it late into Thanksgiving night ( and lingering all through the weekend.)

Continue reading

New Art of Tröegs Launch @ The Garage

After months of developing pencil sketches into full-blown art, we celebrated our new reveal on the streets of Philadelphia with a few hundred friends. Our guerilla street team transformed The Garage in South Philly into a little Tröegs mecca for one night, complete with artists creating one-of-a-kind interpretations of the new logos. Such an honor to be considered a “local” in one of the finest beer cities in the country. Our new art has just started rolling out to all markets, and we look forward to sharing it with everyone.

Art of Troegs

TROËGS INDEPENDENT BREWING UNVEILS NEW HAND-DRAWN ART ACROSS ENTIRE PORTFOLIO OF BEERS

Trogner brothers collaborate with Philadelphia-based designer Lindsey Tweed to update and reimagine iconic Tröegs artwork

HERSHEY, Pa. (November 3, 2015) – Today Tröegs Independent Brewing revealed the new art for its handcrafted beers. The hand-drawn artwork was a collaboration between co-owners Chris and John Trogner and Philadelphia-based designer Lindsey Tweed. The trio worked together closely to create the new look, which includes the reimagining some of the brewery’s most iconic figures like the Tröegenator.

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“The art shows our love of the process and – most importantly – our love of beer,” said John Trogner, brewmaster and co-owner of Tröegs Independent Brewing. “The simple logos and hand-drawn fonts capture how we brew, and the artwork conveys what’s inside the bottle.” Continue reading

Sunny Brae Hop planting

From John’s Notebook: Hop Planting at Sunny Brae

Normally when you hear “so I met this guy on the internet” the story takes a turn for the worse…well not this one.

I don’t remember the exact post, but I came across a picture of one of our beers with fresh hops beside it and it looked delicious. That’s when I met Adam….turns out this guy decided to quit his day job, plow over his back yard (and the farm next to him), drive telephone pole size stakes in the ground and plant hops in an idyllic locale he named Sunny Brae Farms! Now that’s a guy I want to have a beer with (and also brew a beer with).

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Adam’s interest in hop-growing stems from his background in soil science as well as his fascination with craft beer. And it turns out Sunny Brae provided the perfect soil for growing hops. The coarse, stony composition of the earth prevents the ground from getting too soggy, which can ultimately rot out hop roots, and the exposure to sunlight and breeze helps keep the base of his plants dry and aids in keeping common diseases under control. Ultimately Adam said his goal was to make a connection with the local community, and with the abundance of small, independent breweries in Central PA; he hopes to open the door to collaborations and infuse a sense of #local pride into the beers for which he provides hops.

 

Adam admits his decision to enter the hop-growing business took a big leap of faith. “There’s lots of planning and waiting involved and it’s a two- to three-year process just to get everything up and running.” However, he hopes to establish an organic approach to growing hops through the ideal conditions of his farm’s location.

When we started talking, Adam had an acre or so planted with first year plants and was looking for a brewery that was interested in taking wet hops…perfect timing we were looking for a local source for wet hops. The catch was his current farm wasn’t going to have enough for the batch size I was hoping for, and that small opportunity snowballed into the Troegs team helping to plant hundreds of baby hop rhizomes one beautiful morning in Carlisle Pennsylvania.

The goal for our day at Sunny Brae was to plant two acres of Cascade, Chinook, Comet, and Nugget hops to be used for future Scratch Beer releases.

Sunny Brae offered tools of the trade (shovels, garden trowels), plenty of ice-cold water, and beautiful scenery for the day, while our team supplied a good bit of sweat and elbow grease. The reward? Beer, of course! We cooled off with cans Cultivator Helles Bock after a sweltering morning of planting more than 1200 hop saplings.

 

Chef Christian provided a delicious ploughman’s lunch consisting of a variety of house-cured meats, cheeses and breads. The day culminated with a communal meal shared by both Tröegs and the fine folks at Sunny Brae outside on the farm under the sunny skies with bluegrass music playing in the background. All in all, it was a Sunny Brae day done the #troegsway.