Since this was my first week without a craft brewery event happening in or nearby Manhattan, I
forced convinced some friends to make a visit to Carmine Street Beers with me last night in search of some inspiration for this post. I was on the hunt for a beer I had yet to try, with a good story behind it. This is also what I told the guy behind the counter who probably definitely thought me and my blonde friends were lost wandering into a hop shop by ourselves at 8pm on a Saturday. I think we’re best friends now.
His immediate recommendation was Tröegs, Nugget Nectar. My eyes lit up the minute he gestured towards the tap because, if you read my first post, you’d know I’m from Central PA, just a short drive away from Tröegs Brewery in Hershey! It was decided: I was stoked to write about my hometown brewery. But what’s the story here? It’s not that complicated, where as Hershey’s Chocolate is all about the milk, this beer is all about the HOPS!
My newly formed friend started talking about beer slides and I was instantly
brought back to my sorority days engaged. Let me see if I can get this right. Nugget Nectar is an Imperial Amber Ale style beer with lots of hoppiness to it. According to the beer expert at Carmine’s, Tröegs takes the beer after fermentation and runs it over dry nugget hops – hence the name, I’m guessing. Since the hops are dry, and there’s no hop oil being added to the beer at this point, it doesn’t increase any bitterness in the brew, but instead adds to the aroma and hop flavor. It’s apparently a process called “dry-hopping,” not to be confused with another term you’ve probably come in contact with during a high school dance in a cafeteria somewhere around age 15. I’m immature, it’s just where my mind goes, I’m sorry.
Nugget Nectar is one of Tröegs “Once a Year” beers. They’re harder to find, released in smaller quantities, and once they’re gone you’re going to have to wait a whole year for the next release! I was a big fan of the brew from the start. The aroma is intensely hoppy with slight hints of citrus, which were welcome during the freezing cold New York February. The taste is mostly hoppy, but not overbearingly so as it’s nicely balanced in a sweet maltyness. I sipped it slowly while I plotted out which stranger I was going to
demand ask nicely to take an “artsy” through-the-window picture of me and my friends.
If hops are your thing, definitely make an effort to source this beer the next time you’re at your local bottleshop – you won’t want to wait until next January’s release! Regrettably, I have yet to visit Tröeg’s Brewery, (even though my family so nicely went without me) but it is high on my To-do list the next time I’m home. From what I’ve heard it’s a fun trip to be had with awesome food, and great beer. What more could you want? Check out details below. So while it may be 20 degrees here in the city, after one sip of this citrusy Ale you wont be able to help but think “don’t worry…be Hoppy.” (Beer puns are funny…I had to).
Tröegs Independent Brewing
200 E Hersheypark Drive Hershey, PA 17033
Self-guided tours are free!
Guided Production tours are $5 per person (must be 21+)
Click link below to reserve a tour time.
BOOK A GUIDED TOUR!