Wednesday night, I had the unique experience of meeting Troegs brewing at Z Bar at the Deli in State College. As a part of a new series, Z Bar will be hosting beer tastings, paired with food, from breweries who will also send a rep to talk you through what they have to offer. Troegs has long been a favorite brewery of mine, considering how readily available and local they are to me, and I was excited to learn more.
The set up was really nice. They had 5 6oz samples of what I would consider staples of Troegs Brewing, and the Deli paired tapas to match the drinks. We started with Dreamweaver Wheat, paired with a California Roll. The Dreamweaver is a classic hefeweizen and is very light, full of cloves, and give you a hint of bananas. Second up was Troegenator Dopplebock, probably one of the better known beers Troegs makes, this was paired with a Buffalo Meatball. This beer has been given multiple honors and awards at some of the most competitive beerfests in America, and those are well deserved. Third was their Javahead Stout, paired with cheese and crackers. As you would expect, this offering is packed with a nice punch of coffee flavor and aroma, but was created on a stout backbone. This was followed by their Pale Ale, paired with fried macaroni and cheese. This is a really traditional take on the style, very light, very refreshing, a should be regular of any fridge. Finally we finished up with the Hopback Amber ale, paired with steak and cheese on toast. The Troegs rep described how the beer got its name, saying that it comes from the machine that inserts the hops into this specific beer. In the end, we all got to go home with a much appreciate Troegs pint glass, and bought some tickets for upcoming installments in the series.
Afterwards we got another real treat. A firkin of Nugget Nectar (pictured below) was brought out, and I was really eager to try it. Nugget Nectar is a hugely sought after seasonal offering by Troegs, called an Imperial Amber, it takes the recipe for Hopback, and turns it up a couple notches. What is a firkin? You might be asking. Well, it is a specially cask-conditioned ale that is naturally carbonated inside the firkin. The brewery adds more yeast, or sometimes even some fruit juice as was explained by the rep, to the beer so it’s alive and still fermenting right up until the time you tap it. The tapping is accomplished by hammering a tube in the top of the cask and the beer starts to flow. I found it to be a lot smoother than the Nugget Nectar I had from the bottle. It was just as refreshing, but the flavor profile was, without a doubt, very interesting and different. It was almost a more balanced beer and very delicious in its own ways.
Overall, I would call the event a resounding success and can’t wait to go back.