RETURN TO TRÖEGS ALWAYS SCRATCHES AN ITCH
Scratch Series #280 Single Hop Pale Ale. Tröegs, Hershey, Pa. Abv 5.8 IBUs 66
We’ve tasted more than a thousand beers in the last year, so it would seem unlikely that we’d keep returning, at least in this blog. But whenever we’re in the Harrisburg area we find an excuse to detour through Hershey on the way back and lose another Sunday afternoon to the Troegs brothers. It would seem a waste not to share the triumphs here.
The scratch series is every brewer’s dream—the chance to brew anything you can think up using some of the best equipment and collaborating with a team of exceptional brewing professionals. It’s not like they never miss, but the odds of running into a success are so much higher than pulling a bottle of Whatsitbrau off the shelf that we never miss the chance to see what they’re up to.
This beer is unique in our 29,000 beer data base because it features one of the latest of a seeming explosion of new hops. This one’s new enough not to have a name yet: HBC342. We don’t know where or how Tröegs got it, but increasingly hop producers are slipping shipments of new hops to brewers they trust to see what they can do for them
The result here isn’t the smoothest beer we’ve had, but come on—that’s not even a goal most of the time anymore
Tasting notes: Tartness and bitterness overlap, twist and turn, as citrus and citrus peel and muddy Tangerine frolic on a dry chalky yeast carpet. Lasting bitter is more a peel sensation than a hop. Not smooth and moreish but decidedly interesting.
Food Pairings: Big fruity hops overpower a mild cheddar but an aged hard sharp cheese is a great match with the fruit supporting the biting sharpness and each get a chance to shine.
Flavor – citrus is evident, watermelon is harder to find.
Still, if someone is going to the bother of developing a new hop, someone needs to use it and this is a pretty good use of challenging hop. Beer Review # 0111 20170529
NEXT WE’LL FEATURE A “BI-COASTAL” ZWICKEL LAGER FROM GREEN FLASH